City of Homestead Eliminates Walk-in Utilities Payments

By Frank May….
On November 10th, the Homestead City Council voted to eliminate walk-in, drivethrough, and cash payments for electric and water utilities and solid waste services at the Customer Service Division located at 711 NE 1st Road in Homestead. Payments subject to the new procedure will include monthly utilities and solid waste fees as well as deposits, re-connects, service fees, and interest. Utility deposits and new connections will be paid by personal check, credit card, or money order.

Utilities payments will be accepted by internet, phone, mail, and by seventeen pay locations throughout the City including Diaz Markets and participating Western Union locations. The elimination of walk-in and cash payments will be effective on February 1, 2011.

The revised payment acceptance procedure was initiated by a task force chaired by Vice Mayor Judy Waldman. After an in-depth review of utilities’ customer service and audits performed by external consultants, it was determined that about 10,000 payments are received each month from walk-in and drive through customers. Extensive resources were historically committed to receiving and processing payments as opposed to servicing the needs of customers. The new payment procedure will be the same as FPL’s.

According to Vice Mayor Waldman, the City can now focus on customer service for its residents and businesses. “Historically, our focus was accepting walk-in and drive through payments instead of serving our customers. The customer is now our number one priority,” said Waldman.

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