CHELSEA — Officials have approved a plan for residents to pay property tax with their credit cards.

The service will be offered through InforME, which manages the official state website.

Town Manager Scott Tilton said the service should be available in a couple of weeks, but there will be a convenience fee attached to the payment.

“They will be assessed a 2 1/2 percent fee to whatever the payment will be,” Tilton said Tuesday. “If their taxes are $2,000, they will pay $50.”

Now, the credit card service is used to register cars online as well as hunting and fishing licenses.

Selectmen voted to approve the service at their meeting last week.

Tilton said selectmen also discussed the 2009-10 audit management letter at the meeting. He said the town’s auditor found some deficiencies in how the town manages its money.

“They want the Board of Selectmen and town manager to do better at a couple of things,” he said. “We’ve already implemented a fund balance policy. Good financial management would have the town have two months’ worth of expenses in a fund balance, kind of a rainy day fund.”

He said the town also has to develop a capital improvement plan to save annually for equipment replacement. That way the town doesn’t have to come up with the money all at once, which he said would result in tax increases. Tilton said he also is looking into a new location for the town’s voting booths. The town only has seven and by law it is supposed to have one booth for every 250 residents, he said. The population of Chelsea is 2,700, meaning at least three more booths are needed.

“I’ve been asked to look at other options,” he said. “They are the school, the fire station, or remodeling of the Town Office.”

Tilton also was asked by selectmen to look into Kennebec Valley Community Action Program managing the town’s heating assistance program. He said the town doesn’t have any guidelines in place for managing the program.

“They have the expertise in that area,” he said. “I’m going to be in communication with them to see if they can help us out with that.”

Mechele Cooper — 621-5663

[email protected]

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