Covington to reduce cost of postage with new software

COVINGTON - The city of Covington is investing in new software that will reduce the cost of mailing bills, resulting in a savings of up to $12,000 per year.

The City Council recently agreed to purchase software called Mailers+4, supplied by Melissa Data of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

The post office offers a discount if the city sends out 200 or more bills in one batch, but the bills must include the customer's full ZIP code, according to Bobby Johnson, the city's system information manager.

Mailers+4 will automatically add the additional four numbers to the ZIP code while also verifying to make sure the existing ZIP code is correct, Johnson said.

"Most customers don't know what their ZIP code is, so because of that we can't get a postal discount," Johnson said. "This will allow us to presort bills so when we get to the post office they don't have to send them to Atlanta to presort."

As a result, the city will save about 8 cents on postage per bill, Johnson said.

The city mails between 13,000 and 14,000 bills per month, he said.

The software costs $1,695 per year, plus an initial $1,500 set-up fee.

Taking into account the annual fee, the city will save between $11,000 and $12,000 per year, Johnson said.

The system should be running in the next two to three weeks, he added.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.