Cincinnati company processing payments for Lexington utilities

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The first round of new LEXserv bills is going out to people across Lexington right now and there will be some changes in the way you pay for Lexington sewer and trash.

People across Lexington are getting their first look at the new LEXserv bills after Kentucky American Water stopped processing payments for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. City officials say you won't notice a difference in utility costs, but one notable change is the state you mail your payment to - Cincinnati, OH.

"We actually intentionally contacted some Kentucky companies. Unfortunately, no one in Kentucky responded to the request for proposals. We selected Greater Cincinnati Water Works to provide the billing service," said Mark York, spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Quality and Public Works.

The city used to pay Kentucky American $1.6 million a year to process their payments. Now they'll pay Greater Cincinnati Water Works $2.3 million. While that is an increase of $700,000. Kentucky American officials said their price would likely have gone up if they had signed another contract. Other cities in the area process their payments in-house, but officials said it would cost even more to set up a new in-house bill processing system. They said this option is the most affordable for customers.

"No fee increases. Same fees, same charges. No increase," said York.

That contract with Cincinnati Water Works will last for a year. After that, the city can re-evaluate and decide if they want to go another direction.