Online tax payments, move to AHS offices discussed

A resolution was passed at Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting to allow the Greater Amsterdam School District to accept tax payments by credit card online.

The GASD will contract with the payment processing company PowerPay to provide the service to taxpayers. The new payment option will come at no cost to the school district. However, those who choose to use the service will be charged a three percent convenience fee.

The convenience fee is disclosed at multiple times during the payment process, with a pop up window asking those making a payment to agree to the additional charge. According to school business manager Kim Brumley, the agreement window will appear on four occasions during the transaction. PowerPay records the agreement at each step in the payment process, in case anyone questions whether or not they were notified of the three percent charge.

Payments can be made with all major credit cards except for American Express, as the school district would be charged a fee to allow using that tender. Tax payments can still be made in person at First Niagara Bank on State Highway 30 or by mail.

Also discussed at Wednesday’s meeting were potential plans to relocate the district offices to Amsterdam High School.

Classrooms in one hallway towards the rear of the school would be converted into four offices. Lockers in the hallway would be removed to make room for filing cabinets. The cabinets would contain non-confidential information, though they would remain locked at all times, and doors would be added onto the hallway to discourage student traffic. There would be an external entrance to the district offices requiring a swipe card.

Housing the district offices in the high school would save the district money as they would no longer have to pay to operate a separate building strictly for district personnel. The move would also prevent the district from having to make repairs to the current district office building, which currently has a leaking roof.

Following the potential relocation, Board of Education meetings would likely be held in the school’s media center unless a large crowd was expected, in which case it could be held in the cafeteria or auditorium.

The construction would take place over the summer and could be performed by the custodial staff without the use of contractors. The project would probably be completed sometime after the beginning of the coming school year. The board would discuss in the future what to do with the current district office building.

Ashley Onyon

Ashley Onyon is a graduate of the journalism program at SUNY Albany. She has contributed articles to The Mohawk Valley Independent and the annual journal Upstream.