Grayson residents can now pay bills at secure 'lockbox'

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By Staff Reports

INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County residents now have the opportunity to pay bills to the treasurer’s office without having to pay for postage or leave their vehicles, thanks to a new lockbox service.

The treasurer’s office lockbox, which citizens can access 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is conveniently located in the lower parking lot at the Grayson County Courthouse in Independence. Grayson Treasurer Kelly Haga said the lockbox is in a “secure area,” located across the street from the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, and is monitored by video surveillance.

Haga said the treasurer’s office saw a need for the lockbox to allow easier access for those who commute to work and cannot get to the treasurer’s office during business hours. He said it also assists senior citizens and persons with disabilities who have difficulty climbing the stairs to the main floor of the courthouse.

“In the long-term, the county hopes to install an elevator in the courthouse,” he said. “But for now, it’s hard for some people to get up to our office, and now they can have access from their car.”

Haga said instructions for making payments through this service are printed on the lockbox, and its contents are collected twice a day. No cash payments are accepted. “All we ask is that people leave a note specifying what their check payment is for, or a phone number so that we can call them,” said Haga.

The new lockbox is one of several new exterior additions to the Grayson County Courthouse. It matches the brick columns of a new welcome sign, as well as directional signage added to the side of the building. Designer Todd Price of Elk Creek, who also designed the Blue Ridge Veteran’s Memorial in Galax, completed the project for the county.

Haga, who is serving his first term as Grayson County treasurer after being elected in a six-candidate race in November 2013, said he has other plans in the works for the treasurer’s office, with an ultimate goal of making the office Internet accessible for citizens. In addition to the new lockbox service, he said there have been some changes in the office’s “internal control policies.”

“It’s been a smooth transition, overall,” said Haga, who replaced Fields “Junior” Young, who retired after serving as the county’s treasurer of 34 years. “We have a good relationship with the County Administrator’s Office and the Commissioner of Revenue’s Office, and we’re all working together.”