Monroe may join state credit card program

  • Mon Jan 23rd, 2012 9:51pm
  • News

Alejandro Dominguez Herald Writer

MONROE — The city currently keeps 20 credit cards locked up and only uses them for travel expenses or training. But the city may join a state program that actually encourages more day-to-day use by paying rebates on every purchase.

Tuesday, the City Council is scheduled to discuss joining the Washington State Procurement card program.

The meeting is set to start at 7 p.m., City Hall 806 W. Main St. The council could make a decision Tuesday night or wait until a later meeting.

The city is considering applying for 20 cards that can be used to pay for travel or purchase goods and services, finance director Dianne Nelson said.

The cards have limits — they cannot be used to buy tobacco, lottery tickets or liquor among other things. Also, council members are not permitted to use them.

A credit limit would be determined by the staff supervisors if the council agrees to join the program, Nelson said. Cards can also be given a daily or monthly limit to prevent overspending.

The procurement card program is managed by U.S. Bank. They are different from other credit cards in that they have to be paid in full every month and the city gets rebates after every purchase.

The city hopes to receive at least $1,500 in rebates every quarter, Nelson said.

Joining the program also would allow the city to have more control on how money is spent. Supervisors will be able to go online and see how the cards are being used on real time.

“We can see everyday what is going through the cards,” Nelson said. This access would not be available to the public, but they can apply for a public records request to know how the cards are being used.

Other government agencies in the program are the cities of Everett and Lynnwood.

Joining the program would take about a month, Nelson said. The only requirement is to belong to the state co-op program and pay $1,000 a year in membership, something that Monroe already does.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422;