City Outsources Utility Payments
The utility billing office's payment processing function was outsourced to a tax collector's office in Bradenton. Jeff Yates, city finance director, explains why.
Notice a new address on your utility bills?
You're not imagining things.
The city began outsourcing its utility payment processing function to the Manatee County Tax Collector’s office in Bradenton on May 1, says Jeff Yates, city finance director.
Dunedin's utility billing office has been going through a major overhaul after audits dating back to 2010 revealed hundreds of errors on customer accounts. The plan to outsource was planned in the 2012 budget.
The move allows for the utility billing office to extend its hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and saves the city $13,600 a year, Yates said in an email to Dunedin Patch.
“Through this change, the customer actually benefitted from … more time spent in direct customer service, versus processing paper checks,” he wrote in the email. “All of these actions help to maintain a lower utility rate for the residents.”
Before the changeover, it cost the city about $20,800 a year to process your mailed-in payments by hand, versus the $7,200 price tag for outsourcing the task to Manatee County, Yates explained. Plus, even though your payments are going to Bradenton, the city actually receives payment faster, he said.
“The (Manatee) Tax Collector’s office processes payments every morning and the city receives an electronic payment file that is credited that evening,” he said.
Dunedin’s by-hand method of depositing paper checks would take up to five days to clear, he said.
Payments should be mailed to:
City of Dunedin
ATTN: Utility Billing
P.O. Box 9286
Bradenton, FL, 34206
Or set up automatic payments through your bank. Learn how to do this on the city website.
The Utility Billing Department is at 750 Milwaukee Ave. in Dunedin.