Johnson City utility customers can go paperless

Gary B. Gray • Feb 1, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Johnson City is now offering its utility customers online paperless statements and bank draft options in an effort to streamline the billing process — and it’s free.

The convenient services are secure and can be implemented by completing simple forms.

“We’ve done a soft roll-out of the online services, and we now have about 300 people participating,” said Lisa Sagona, information technology director. “I think people should feel comfortable about it. You won’t have to put your Social Security number on it, and you can use multiple email addresses for more security.”

Customers should not confuse the new “e-statements” with bank drafts; they are two completely different services.

An e-statement is merely a paperless way to view — and print for your records if you like — the same information listed on the bill you receive in the mail.

To go paperless with e-statements, Johnson City water/solid waste customers can visit www.johnsoncitytn.org, click the “Pay” button (red, dollar sign icon) at the top of the page, and then click on the e-statement authorization form and complete a request form.

“The form, once authorized, will allow you to get an e-statement; you will no longer receive a paper statement,” Sagona said. “After the forms are submitted, customers will get an email from the city listing the exact date on which the statement will be delivered by email. Remember, you do not have to do an auto draft just because you choose to receive the e-statement.”

The emailed statement will include the service or billing period and the payment history for six months to help customers keep an eye on trends or problems. It also will include water, sewer, solid waste and stormwater rates and contact numbers for these departments.

E-statements also include a bar graph that shows in an easy-to-digest format a customer’s water usage for the past 12 months. Near the bottom of the statement, customers can view amounts due and due dates

“We are excited to offer paperless billing because it is a great service for our citizens and also supports our role as ‘Tennessee’s Green City,’ ” Sagona said. “Additionally, the reduction in postage saves thousands of taxpayer dollars.”

The first thing a customer must do if they want to sign up to have the amount due on your utility statement drafted from your bank is to deliver in person or mail a voided check. This will allow you to download a form on the city’s home page. Click the “Pay” icon. On the right side of the page, you will see a list of online services. You will see a link that says “submit monthly payment with automatic bank draft.”

Click the link and complete the form.

“You will receive an initial bill that says on it ‘Do Not Pay’,” Sagona said. “It will list the amount and on which day we will draft the payment amount from your bank, and it is not drafted from your bank until the day the bill is due. No one wants the hassle of having to mail a check or worse, pay a bill in person. So the auto bank draft is incredibly convenient in that regard, and it also eliminates the possibility of paying late.”

If an automatic bank draft or e-statements are not for you, there are multiple ways to pay city utility bills, including dropping by the Municipal & Safety Building, 601, E. Main St., during business hours, mailing the payments or by using the drop box. Customers also have another option. Those not wanting to transact business online or for convenience purposes cannot come by city hall, utility bills can be dropped off at the following collection points:

First Tennessee Bank

- 1500 W. State of Franklin Road.

- 2112 North Roan St.

- 222 Old Gray Station Road, Gray.

- 3230 Peoples St.

- 401 W. Jackson Blvd., Jonesborough.

- 4301 Fort Henry Drive, Kingsport.

Johnson City Federal Credit Union

- 333 E. Main St.

- 716 W. Market St.

- 181 Marketplace Blvd.

Bank of Tennessee/Carter County Bank

- 301 E. Center St., Kingsport.

- 1917 Tenn. Highway 394, Blountville.

- 1230 N. Main St., Erwin.

- 1223 Volunteer Parkway, Bristol.

- 402 Roy Martin Road, Gray.

- 100 Med Tech Parkway.

- 1708 N. Eastman Road, Kingsport.

- 112 Mountcastle Drive.

- 501 E. Jackson Blvd., Jonesborough.

- 4214 Fort Henry Drive, Kingsport.

- 1328 W. State of Franklin Road.

- 601 E. Elk Ave., Elizabethton.

- 1254 Milligan Highway.

- 8257 U.S. Highway 19E, Roan Mountain.

- 200 Bemberg Road, Elizabethton.

- 800 E. Broad St., Elizabethton.

For more information about paperless utility bills or bank drafts, contact Water and Sewer Customer Service at 461-1640.

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