McComb officials hope a new water bill system that city officials say will drastically improve services with multiple new functions.

The system came at no cost to the city, and only required the approval of the city board to enter the new contract. The new features include text and email reminders, pay through text, automatic payments and online usage reports.

“It will be somewhat like Entergy. You call in, give your account number and you should be able to pay,” said Interim City Administrator Ebony Ross, who previously worked in the water billing department. “It will remember their numbers and contact information, and it will send alerts to their phones.”

Ross said the new system should make paying the water bill easier, adding that the paperless billing should eliminate the need to use the dropbox located at city hall.

“We are trying to give more options because we’ve been kind of short-handed, so it has been a hassle trying to process mail and money orders as well as trying to stop and take credit cards,” she said. “This will help alleviate having to take credit cards over the phone, and hopefully decrease the amount of money in the dropbox.”

The updated system should go live in the next two weeks. Ross said the reason it will take a week or two more is because employees have to be trained on it first.

Human Resources Director Donna Davis said the city’s ultimate goal is to keep people safe, noting that these new ways to interact with billing information will cut down on the need to enter city hall, and possibly exposing someone or getting exposed to coronavirus.

“Going this route will give the citizens access to their water billing. They don’t have to come in and wait in line,” Davis said.  “Due to the outbreak of the pandemic, we wanted to give citizens other options.

“A lot of people have smartphones, and it will be easier to get on their phones and pay their bills. I think it will be much a much more efficient and effective system for the citizens and the collection office.”

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