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City website up and running

Whiteville residents can now conduct almost any kind of business with City Hall without actually going there. Whitevillenc.gov, the city’s new website, had its first utility payment via the online system last week, according to Finance Officer Colburn Brown.

The single payment may not seem like much, but it’s part of an ongoing effort to make all city services and information available via the web, Brown explained. “This is really a credit to the city council that they embraced this idea,” Brown said. Customers should call the City of Whiteville finance office at 910-642-8046 to set-up their online utility payment account. 

Earlier this year, city council approved a plan to upfit the city’s web presence, and add online utility paying option. Brown said that as word spreads, especially close to water bill due dates, the site will become popular. “It’s a lot easier to pay via the web by a credit card than it is to fight traffic and try to make it to the office by 5 p.m.,” Brown said. “We still will offer individual service in the office, but a lot of people prefer electronic bill paying these days.”

There is no fee charged to the customers, and the city pays a small fee for each transaction. The city uses a specialized credit card payment service that has several levels of security, Brown said. “We don’t have the server capability to provide the type of protection a lot of people expect,” he explained. “This way everything is completely closed. It’s instantaneous, so there is no late fee problem, and your information is safe and secure.”

The city website also includes contacts for each department, public notices, forms, employment opportunities, an event calendar and news/ weather alerts. Brown said the city will continue to use social media as a bridge between the website and its citizens. “We’re taking baby steps all the way on this,” he said. “This has been a big one, but it’s a good one for our citizens.”

Stuart Rogers