06/10/13 — City eyes cutting bank fee increase

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City eyes cutting bank fee increase

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on June 10, 2013 1:46 PM

An unexpected rise in banking costs for the 2013-14 fiscal year has left the Goldsboro Finance Department looking at which services are worth keeping and which aren't necessary.

At the June 3 meeting, Finance Director Kaye Scott said the price of utilizing the services, many of which were free under the old contract from 2003, which ends June 30, left her with sticker shock.

Under the old contract, banking cost the city an average of $13,200 a year. For the upcoming year, the city has budgeted $56,000.

The jump in cost is largely due to the lockbox services the city uses.

"I was so surprised at how banking has changed," Mrs. Scott said. "Just lockbox is going to cost the city $3,000 a month. Right now we pay about $1,100 a month for everything."

Lockbox services allow water and trash bills to be sent directly to PNC Bank's corporate office in Charlotte where they can be opened and securely deposited, eliminating the need for an extra position in the city billing office.

"One thing we want to find out is whether it is more cost-effective to have a part-time position for that job instead of using lockbox services," Mrs. Scott said.

Lockbox services alone are expected to cost the city $36,000 in the 2013-14 fiscal year.

The Finance Department has three pages of services to review.

"One service I think we might find we don't use a lot is check images," Mrs. Scott said.

Check images is a service which takes a photo of incoming checks which are filed in a searchable database.

"If we have a service we only use one to two times a year, we need to ask ourselves, 'Is it needed?,'" said Mrs. Scott.

Two banks bid to provide the city of Goldsboro with banking services in the 2013-14 year, PNC Bank and First Citizens Bank, but the Finance Department recommended renewing the current contract with PNC Bank for one year because the city is already set up with the bank.

The Finance Department will spend the next year examining how the city can most cost effectively do its banking and getting quotes from different banks.

"By next January, we hope to have a quote out to bid for area banks," Mrs. Scott said.

This might include removing some services that aren't used very often or changing the way a need is met such as with lockbox services.

The new fiscal year will start July 1.