Waste district needs process to deal with returned checks

Dec 20, 2012 By Christina George, Staff Writer

The Fremont County Solid Waste Disposal District Board of Directors is considering options on how to handle returned checks.

District superintendent Andy Frey opened the conversation by suggesting a $25 fee be imposed on checks returned for insufficient funds.

"I think a lot of businesses do that anyway," Frey said at a November board meeting.

Board member Dave Hines suggested the disposal district look into using a company such as Check Rite as a collection source that works directly with banks.

"The district wouldn't have to deal with it," Hines said, adding he uses the company for his business on the Wind River Indian Reservation. "There's no labor in it. There's no headache with it."

Hines said another option would be to modify policy to prohibit checks as payment.

"It would be my recommendation," he added.

After board member Steve Baumann put a motion on the table to change the policy as Hines recommended, several questions were raised about the potential inconvenience for patrons who use checks to keep records, or for people who do not use other payment methods. Frey also questioned whether checks would be permitted from businesses.

"How many are we dealing with?" board chairman Mike Adams asked about returned checks.

Frey said he could not answer that, only that there are some returned every month.

"I'm concerned about creating an inconvenience for a group of people for an unquantified problem," board member Mike Morgan said.

Baumann withdrew his motion to prohibit payment by checks.

"I make a motion that the board engages in a contract with Check Rite that addresses any returned checks by patrons or others," Hines said, adding it's worth it if "we're going to be dealing with a lot of checks and in this economy."

Board member Jeff Hermansky suggested looking at costs for Check Rite services before making a decision. He then moved to investigate the costs of engaging with such a company.

Baumann concurred, saying the board should know how many checks are returned before agreeing to engage in a contract with Check Rite.

Morgan said he supports Hines's suggestion.

"It's about working smarter, not harder," Morgan said.

Hines withdrew his motion after the board ultimately agreed more information was needed. Frey said he will pull data and present it at the December meeting.

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