The city of LaGrange is changing how it gets utility bills to customers, but the customers themselves should see no changes to the bill, the due date or the amount due.
City Manager Tom Hall told council this week that the “stuffing” of the bills to be prepared for mailing has been outsourced to a company called Pinnacle, with offices in Atlanta and Birmingham.
Utilities Director Patrick Bowie said the U.S. Post Office keeps changing the requirements for how the bills have to be prepared for mailing, costing the city more money and making it more complicated. When the city’s one “stuffing” machine goes down, employees have had to have “stuffing parties” to prepare and get the bills out on time.
The city sends out about 20,000 bills a month at a cost of 12 cents per bill. Outsourcing will save a penny on each bill and the cost of an employee spending half of a day to do the job.
“The post office now almost wants you to have it prepared in such a way that they can put the bills directly on the truck to be delivered,” Bowie said.
Pinnacle has been in business 20 years and handles about 450,000 mailings a day. Special fliers and other extras in utility bills still will be able to be included, and there may even be some more color on the bills.