EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 2, 2013

Pelham ready to put services online

By John Toole

---- — PELHAM — The 24-hour Town Hall is just around the corner.

Town Clerk Dorothy Marsden said Pelham in October will begin processing motor vehicle registrations online, along with dog licenses, birth certificates and marriage licenses.

Pelham will become the last of 12 towns in the Southern New Hampshire region to offer residents some form of online bill payment.

Selectmen, during a discussion this month, said paying property taxes eventually will be an option.

“We’re excited,” Marsden said.

The change means people won’t have to leave home and drive to Town Hall to take care of their business with the town. They can do it at home, in front of their computer, 24 hours a day and seven days a week, she said.

“We’re going to be doing it with credit card and debit card,” she said.

Plans call for the system to come on line Oct. 1.

The Town Clerk’s staff is set for training in September.

Marsden said town officials plan to promote the service in advance during September. More information will be posted on the town website.

Transactions are expected to impose a $1.50 fee for both credit and debit cards. Additionally, there will be a separate 2.95 percent expense for credit.

There aren’t long lines at Town Hall now.

Marsden said the town has registered 10,422 vehicles and licensed about 1,400 dogs this year.

“This is just a convenience for people,” she said.

People still will be able to do business by mail with the town, if they prefer, or visit Town Hall.

“They can still come in,” Marsden said.

Selectmen plan to discuss the EReg program again in September to publicize it. The board had no objections to startup.

Town costs are expected to be less than $1,000, driven primarily by the $600 expense of acquiring three credit card readers.

Residents of nearby Derry have been using EReg.

“They’ve been using it a long time,” Derry Town Clerk Denise Neale said.

She described the system as very convenient for townspeople and easy to use. Neale could recall no problems with EReg.

“Now we do dog licenses, too,” she said.

For a town-by-town listing of online EReg services, visit eb2gov.com.