China Grove no longer will handle Duke Energy payments
By Jessie Burchette
CHINA GROVE ó An estimated 3,000 Duke Energy customers will soon have to find another way to pay their monthly bills.
The town of China Grove will no longer handle Duke Energy payments, most likely starting in mid-October.
Town Manager Bill Pless said Duke Energy’s decision to contract payment services with a large international payment company effectively ends the longstanding arrangement between the town and Duke.
The town has received 55 cents per payment, which has provided the salary for a town employee who has also handled town business.
Pless said Global Express is willing to pay 25 cents per payment, effectively cutting the revenue by 60 percent.
Pless said Global Express suggested other ways the town could maintain its revenue, including taking payments for major department stores and oil company credit cards.
He told the Board of Aldermen Tuesday night he doesn’t think Town Hall is an appropriate place for such an extended payment collection operation.
Pless noted he had kept the board abreast of the situation since Global Express took over the Duke payments on July 1. And he said the employee is also aware of the situation.
He noted that thousands of Duke customers who have routinely paid their bill at Town Hall will have to come up with another method.
Pless noted that Global Express is required by Duke Energy to find another payment location in China Grove. Some local businessman may opt to add the service.
Pless observed that Duke is farming out a lot of its business to other companies, describing it as the “evolution of corporate America.”
In other business Tuesday night, the board:
– Unanimously approved a preliminary plat for an eight-lot single family subdivision at N.C. 152 West and Stirewalt Road.
Bruce Jones, the developer, said the housing stock planned will be in the $350,000 range.
The property is currently outside the town limits but will be voluntarily annexed at a later date.
– Agreed to a recommendation by Alderman Allen Welter to delay voting to allow county fire inspectors to do inspections in the town.
The board agreed to invite County Fire Marshal Tom Murphy to the October meeting to answer questions.
Welter noted that he ran into a problem in Spencer recently where new fire codes appeared to require $100,000 in improvements so the building could be rented for a beauty parlor.