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Marion Utilities to offer online payment option

BY Emily Rachelle Russell - erussell@chronicle-tribune.com

The Marion Utilities Service Board discussed customer service improvements and approved plans for the company Christmas party at a meeting on Thursday.

Marion Utilities Director Chuck Binkerd shared with board members an update on a software upgrade and additional use features being added to the Marion Utilities website. The changes will improve the customer service experience and allow online payments, he said.

Another item Binkerd presented was the planned addition of a new kiosk outside Marion Utilities to allow for a second drive-through lane. The kiosk is currently being tested at a facility in another state and will be installed as soon as possible, though weather may delay that until spring.

The board discussed plans for the company Christmas party on Dec. 21 at the Garden House in Matter Park. Board members voted to close all offices on that day from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. to allow employees an opportunity to celebrate the holidays together.

The gift cards given to each employee for Christmas every year were also increased from $30 to $40 this year, per the board’s suggestion and approval, and seven certificates for one day off will be given away at the party.

The Assistant Director for Operations and Maintenance, Robin Shrader, presented two new information technology positions for the board’s approval as well. Marion Utilities has one IT employee working as a coordinator. Shrader’s proposed jobs positions would change that role to increase pay and re-define job responsibilities while adding an IT specialist to work alongside the coordinator. Both positions were approved and will be posted to fill in-house before posting externally if needed in the future.

The next meeting of the Marion Utilities Service Board is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 20.