Waikato District Councillors voted in favour of the Huntly Library and Council Office remaining a permanent cash-free site on Monday.
The Huntly Library and Council Office was refurbished last year to focus on building the site into a modern library environment and a safe hub for community activities.
“The customer friendly counter lends itself to a cash-free environment,” says Chief Executive Gavin Ion. “There are significant benefits to this including substantial savings of time and money on managing security requirements. It also frees up our staff time to focus on engaging with customers in the library.”
The Huntly Library and Council Office has not accepted cash since the beginning of the renovations in August 2016 and the majority of customers have not been affected.
“Across our sites we know that only 15% of people pay in cash. We recognise that, for some, this will require a change in behaviour but we have taken steps to ensure that the inconvenience to residents is minimised.”
Council offers a full range of non-cash payment options from eftpos and credit card to online banking options as well as free wi-fi at all its sites. Banks are also able to assist customers to set up payment options from their personal accounts. For customers still wanting to pay their rates or dog registration fees in cash in Huntly, they can use the Postshop and BNZ and Council refuse stickers can be purchased from nine Huntly retailers.
“Cash payments are acceptable at alternative venues all within walking distance from the Huntly Library and Council Office.”
Council has received one formal complaint about being cash-free. It also received a petition signed by 144 residents, which was considered by Council on Monday.
“Council has carefully considered all views and advice and remains convinced of the benefits of moving to a cash-free environment. We can concentrate on building the library into a safe hub for community activities, which is what people tell us they want.”
At the meeting Council also agreed that it will work towards all of its libraries and offices becoming cash free by July 2018.