Municipalities hear about regional billing option

OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino Williamson Law Book Company Sales Manager Kathy Saydoff (standing) shows municipal leaders a sample of blank water bill post cards. Also pictured are Portland Supervisor Dan Schrantz and John Walker of Sheridan.

BROCTON — The North Chautauqua County Water District will mean a lot of changes for the municipalities involved. One of those is a new or different responsibility for billing and maintenance.

Involved in the regional district is the village of Brocton and the towns of Dunkirk, Pomfret, Portland and Sheridan. At this time, Dunkirk and Sheridan depend on the city of Dunkirk for water billing and maintenance.

In order to keep the regional effort going, the municipalities joined together and were awarded a $130,000 state grant to do combined billing and maintenance.

On Wednesday, most of the leaders sat down with representatives of Williamson Law Book Company of Victor, N.Y., for a demonstration on the billing software it provides.

Lead Support Representative Peggy Mack and Sales Manager Kathy Saydoff reviewed the software’s features like email billing capability, credit card payments, printing for 8.5-by-11 inch paper or postcards that it sells, customizable rates and fees, multiple users with different access restrictions and daily data backup on secure servers as well as local training and support.

“We have over 1,600 software program (subscribers) in New York state. We are one of the leading software providers and really, in my opinion, we are the only one that I know of, at least as a company as large as us, to house everything in our office. We have our computer programmers, our tech writers, application writers, sales, support, everything from the president of our company down is all in house. We have created all these programs with our own people. So when you’re calling us, you’re calling us for everything. If there’s a problem, we just walk down the hall (to figure it out),” Saydoff said.

Portland uses Williamson for its water billing already and is pleased with the service.

Leaders’ questions mostly centered around how water loss could be calculated.

Saydoff said she will draft a proposal for the one-time cost and annual support and forward it to the group.