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More plastic options for county customers?

Cash, check or plastic?

Customers at Crow Wing County counters may have more options to use their plastic check cards, debit cards and credit cards in the future.

Commissioners met Tuesday as a committee. Board members meet as a committee once a month in order to have more time to discuss issues or hear presentations. Those issues then return at regular board sessions before decisions are made. The board meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month.

A credit card payment option is part of a trial use at the Crow Wing County Landfill. Tuesday the board heard an update on the pilot use and asked staff to gather more information on what the costs would be to add the option for other county departments.

One concern was the cost the county would have to process the credit cards. Administrator Tim Houle said the county incurs a cost in staff time that while harder to measure is part of doing business in taking cash and check for payments. He said the credit cards represented another cost of doing business. Commissioner discussed whether a fee should be added or whether the added processing cost could be adjusted to future fee schedules and passed back to customers or absorbed as part of offering the convenience to people.

The issue is expected to return to the county board once staff has gathering cost estimates for credit card swipe machines and other expenses.

RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at or 855-5852.