Conyers reduces surcharge on payments made by credit card

Council approves new 5-year contract with Proof of Pudding caterers

CONYERS — Citizens who pay taxes, fines or other payments to the city of Conyers by credit card will now pay a lower administrative fee.

Isabel Rogers, chief financial officer for Conyers, told the City Council Wednesday that the city was able to negotiate lower fees with the credit card companies.

“At this time, we feel we can reduce the fees we charge people using credit cards,” she said.

In March, the City Council established a 4.75 percent surcharge on all credit card payments to offset administrative fees charged to the city.

With the unanimous vote by the Council Wednesday, the administrative fee has been reduced to 3 percent.

Citizens can still pay city taxes, fines and fees using cash or check and no surcharge is imposed.

It is a common practice for jurisdictions to charge an additional fee for credit card users to offset the administrative fees charged by credit card companies to those jurisdictions for the service. In March, when the fees were first established, City Manager Tony Lucas said the fees paid to credit card companies were costing the city “tens of thousands of dollars.”

In other news, the city approved a five-year contract with Proof of the Pudding by MGR Inc. for another five years with an option to renew for another five years.

Proof of the Pudding has provided catering services at the Georgia International Horse Park for the last 10 years. Jennifer Bexley, director of the horse park, told the council the new contract is very similar to the one that will expire Dec. 31. The horse park will still retain 85 percent of the bottom-line profit, for example.

One difference, Bexley said, is that the management fee will increase from 5.5 percent to 6 percent. That fee could be increased to 7 percent if Proof of the Pudding reaches a profit percentage of 15.28 percent.

“They will also put up to $60,000 in capital improvements, including adding a (point of sale) system at the concession stand and replacing some older equipment,” Bexley said.

The company will also offer $10,000 in food at cost for marketing purposes for the city, she said.