How a Western Massachusetts Town Took Its Payments Online

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An open-source web platform is helping places like Hinsdale go digital.

When Hinsdale, a rural town of just over 2,000 residents in western Massachusetts, began looking to process online payments, administrators worried the project would spread them too thin.

A community volunteer created, then gifted Hinsdale’s website, so adding robust digital services didn’t seem feasible.

But the town reached out to San Francisco-based, open-source web platform Proud City, which offered to have a solution up and running within three weeks.

“To have the ease of making these payments digitally and being able have a digital paper trail is the standard that people are used to,” Kevin Herman, co-founder and COO of Proud City, said in an interview. “To go into Town Hall to drop off a form or payment—that’s just not possible in a large second-home community or if you have to travel for a job.”

Property taxes and building permits are Hinsdale’s primary sources of revenue, so the town wanted the system set up by September.

Procurement didn’t take months, and the price was affordable for a town of Hinsdale’s size for services rivaling those of a city website serving millions.

The official project kickoff is in a week.

“You can create a payment form just as easily as setting up a web form,” Herman said.

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty.

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