Archbold Village Council approved a contract with Infintech, Cincinnati, to process credit card payments for village utility bills and Parks & Recreation Department fees during its Monday, April 2 meeting.
It’s one of the last steps before village officials “go live” with a new website they have been working on for close to a year.
But there was a concern with the Infintech contract.
Dennis Howell, Archbold Village administrator, said Mark Hagans, village legal counsel, had issues with Infi ntech’s standards contract.
One issue, which was resolved, centered on which court would be “the court of final resort” to decide disputes. Infintech’s contract specified an out-of-state court, but the company agreed to substitute an Ohio court.
The other issue, which was not resolved, concerns indemnifying Infintech from any losses, should there be a problem.
When one entity indemnifi es another, the second entity is held free from harm from such things as financial losses.
Howell said Hagans pointed out that the Ohio constitution does not allow communities to indemnify contracts, because indemnity requires that a community agree to pay an unknown amount of money. Under the Ohio constitution, communities must first appropriate a set amount of money before it can be spent.
A community may not appropriate an unknown amount of money.
Howell said Hagans did not want to be forced to educate a judge about the issue in a courtroom if a problem results.
By agreeing to the indemnity clause of the contract, Howell said the village is exposed to a legal risk, but the risk is very small.
“I think the risk is slim, but lawyers will be lawyers,” Howell said.
On the other hand, allowing a third-party company to process credit card payments to the village protects the village from liability for things like improperly-handled credit card numbers and the like.
Howell said only Infintech and one other firm has software that will work seamlessly with the village computer software. Howell said he talked to representatives of several other communities, who were happy with Infintech’s service.
Council voted unanimously to accept the contract.
Howell said village offi- cials have been working on the new village website since the middle of 2011.
The goal is to make the new website more useful by allowing citizens to make payments online, fill out forms, and sign up for Parks & Recreation Department programs.
He said the website should be ready for public use within a few weeks.–David Pugh