DOBSON — The county continued to shift away from using PayPal for any online payments in action taken by the Surry County Board of Commissioners Monday evening.
The county board approved an agreement with Forte Payment Systems Inc. unanimously after one commissioner noted his opposition to PayPal, which currently provides online tax payment processing for the county.
“Tell them why,” board Vice Chairman Eddie Harris told Tax Administrator Michael Hartgrove.
Harris was pressing Hartgrove as to how the county would inform PayPal it was terminating its agreement with the company.
In April PayPal halted plans to expand its business in North Carolina in the wake of House Bill 2, the so called “bathroom bill” passed in a one-day special session of the General Assembly. Surry County commissioners instructed all county departments to cease any business dealings with the company following PayPal’s move in opposition to HB2.
PayPal’s change of plans resulted in 400 jobs lost, according to reports.
“Tell them Surry County’s position on the privacy of women and children — that we take the right to privacy seriously,” continued Harris.
Harris went on to cite PayPal’s business in other countries where human rights violations occur, saying, “We don’t take favor to a company that does business overseas with countries which treat women and others the way they do.”
Hartgrove said his department is required to give PayPal a 30-day notice of termination. Then the transition to Forte can take place. The new agreement is of no cost to the county, as convenience fees for online tax payments will still be passed along to the payer.
“We will transition over as rapidly as we can,” Hartgrove told the board, noting he would like to bring the move to completion by year’s end.
In other business, county commissioners unanimously re-appointed Commissioner Larry Phillips to his seat on the Piedmont Triad Regional Council. Phillips’ one-year term expired in December of 2015.
As part of the board’s consent agenda, a position in the Surry County Health and Wellness Center was reclassified from an Administrative Officer II position to an Administrative Officer III position. The move will result in a pay increase of two pay grades, from a grade 70 to a grade 72.
Commissioners also approved a memorandum of understanding between the county and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission needed for the completion of a canoe access point at Hamlin Ford Road on the Fisher River.
The project is of no cost to the county, as the Wildlife Commission completely funded the project, according to correspondence included in the meeting packets of commissioners.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.