by Mike Conroy
As COVID-19 rapidly started to effect lives and business operations in March, Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) was no different. In fact, when the MVF Office closed before the end of March due to the Governor’s Executive Order, it was right at the end of a quarter, which meant communicating to residents how they could pay assessment fees without coming to the office.
While many residents have an automatic withdrawal from their bank account set up, many still come to the office to pay assessments by cash, check or credit card. Given the office was closed, this posed a problem, especially for cash payments. In addition to not having personnel able to collect cash, there was the uncertainty about how COVID could be spread, causing heightened awareness of how many people touch items like cash in a given transaction. However, many residents made adjustments to their payment options and continued to work with staff to have assessments paid on time. For that, we sincerely thank you.
As with many businesses adjusting their operations during this time, MVF, too, has analyzed processes that we can make more efficient and/or safer for our residents and staff. Cash assessment payments at the MVF Office is one of those processes. Based on how many residents were able to adjust their payment method while the office was closed, MVF staff presented the Board with a proposal to investigate making the office cashless at the June 25 MVF Board of Directors meeting.
After several months of further investigation into cash alternatives, the Board approved eliminating cash assessment payments at the MVF Office beginning Friday, January 1, 2021. Residents will still have several options to make assessment payments, many of which have no additional fees associated with them—these have not changed.
For residents who still wish to pay their annual assessment in cash, the MVF Office will accept money orders, available at many convenient locations (Giant, the US Post Office, Walmart, 7-Eleven and other retailers), and will implement a new vendor service, PaySafe:Cash on a 1-year trial basis. PaySafe:Cash would allow residents to make their assessment payment in cash at local retailers and be electronically transferred to MVF. This convenience would also allow cash assessment payments to be made during hours that the MVF Office is closed on evenings and weekends.
The MVF Office will still accept assessment payments in person by check, credit card or money order, and online through the CIT bank website. Additionally, cash payments for recreation programs and other fee services will still be accepted at the office.
As the PaySafe:Cash system is setup, further instructions about how to use it will be available. We thank our residents for your understanding of this change; for being diligent in paying your assessments to help maintain the community; and we look forward to offering this service to you.