By Will Rainwater, HSVPOA Director of Information Technology
The Hot Springs Village POA is in the process of upgrading our computer software and systems to better align ourselves with modern technologies. This includes our back-office systems that are used to serve your needs; our utility billing systems; and the website you use to pay your utility bills and assessments, book tee times, or book tennis courts, among others.
The POA has committed to keeping residents fully informed of our progress, as well as educating each of you on the changes that will be coming in the new website and setting expectations for those changes. This article is a little long, but it contains a trove of information you will need to navigate these changes moving forward. The ultimate goal of the POA is to not only ensure that you have the tools you need to live and thrive within Hot Springs Village but also to save money while still providing excellent service to our members and residents. There is considerably more being done behind the scenes that does not warrant discussion yet, but what does warrant discussion is what affects you the most, and that is the member website.
Our current systems have combined utility billing with all the amenity functions, meaning that you can pay for both amenities/assessments and utility bills within the same website. The new system we will be moving to later this year does not incorporate utility billing, so we are utilizing two different software systems to cover both. The systems we will be implementing are called Northstar for our amenity function and member portal and UMS by Continental Utility Solutions, Inc., for utility billing. We are implementing these in a phased approach, so there are going to be several changes that you will notice over time and will need to know how to navigate. Those phased changes are:
- In the first phase, you will no longer be able to pay your assessments and your utility bill on the same site. You will be required to log into a separate website to pay your utility bill. This is expected to take place starting in April 2023 for the
April 15th billing cycle.
- In the next phase, the new member website will be implemented. This is expected to take place starting in or around August 2023. It will still be necessary to pay your assessments and utility bills separately, but the new website will be much more esthetically pleasing and much easier to navigate and find the information you need most.
- In the final phase of implementation, which will take place sometime after the new member website live date, we will be combining the assessments and the utility billing within one portal so that you can pay both using one transaction. However, the new utility billing portal will still be available for you to view billing history and usage trends, as that information will not be migrated to the new member website.
Here is what you can expect to see in the coming weeks:
- On or about April 15th, you will see a new link showing up on the CURRENT member website. This link will take you to the new Utility Billing website that will allow you to pay your utility bills with credit cards or automated drafts from your bank account, download statements, and view usage statistics. We will provide more information and visual depictions of where you will be able to find that link in future notifications.
As time progresses, you will be able to see usage graphs and trends to help you better understand your water usage. These functions fall more in line with industry-standard utility billing systems used throughout the United States. You will be able to sign up for email notifications for your statements as well as view and print current and past statements.
In future Weekly Digests, we will provide more information and sample images of what to expect.
- Around August 2023 (hopefully), the Hot Springs Village POA will launch its new systems, which include a new member website. Much more information will be sent out in the coming weeks, along with opportunities to view the new website in
a demonstration capacity, but it will be a much better and much-needed change from our existing systems.
- In the third phase, we will bring the ability to pay your assessment and your utility bill all into one place. The new utility billing website will be available for viewing usage, changing contact preferences, and downloading statements, but you won’t need to make two separate payments for your assessments and your utility bills.
The Hot Springs Village Information Technology (IT) Department is working diligently behind the scenes to ensure that we bring modern technologies to the members and residents of the Hot Springs Village. We understand that change can be daunting for many, but we are certain that the changes we are putting into place will ultimately make our members happy. Stay Tuned!