The Forest Park Village Council July 23 approved a resolution shifting the payment of credit card processing fees from the village to the person making the payment, following similar action in June for Illinois ePay transactions.

The resolution approving an amendment to the merchant credit card processing agreement with Clearant, the village’s credit card processor, affects point of sale transactions in the village clerk’s office, the police department and the community center. Shifting the processing fee, estimated to be 3 percent, is already in effect with signage explaining the change posted. 

Illinois ePay is the credit card and electronic check processing service offered by the state treasurer’s office to local and state governments, allowing them to provide online payment options.

Letitia Olmsted, village finance director, said the credit card processing fee will be shown as a separate line on the credit card receipt.  The village had been absorbing the processing fee.

The resolution also allows the village to shift the processing fee to those using credit cards at pay parking stations in Forest Park, but implementation will be delayed until the parking pay stations can be reprogrammed. Olmstead said village officials are still discussing how much the parking pay station processing fee would be but expects the charge to be a flat fee and not a percentage fee. She said the fee would not be implemented until Sept. 1 at the earliest.

Olmsted estimated the moves, discussed during budget meetings earlier this year, would save the village $50,000 annually, $23,580 from in-house point of sale terminals and $26,665 from parking pay stations.

The move is the latest in a series designed to address a budget shortfall estimated to be $1 million for fiscal year 2019, which runs from May 1 to April 30, 2019. Other fee increases village officials have approved since November include parking tickets, garbage pickup and ambulance service. Village officials also are considering instituting a sewer charge. The village had a deficit of $1.6 million in fiscal 2018, which ended April 30.  

Olmsted noted that those paying with cash or by check by mail or in-person at Village Hall will not be charged the processing fee.