MOUNT VERNON — Knox County residents required to pay scheduled child support will soon be able to drop off payments locally, a process that has been void from the county since 2000.
“Off and on [since 2000], we have had requests to collect payments here rather than mailing to Columbus,” said Matthew Kurtz, acting administrator for the Knox County Child Support Enforcement Agency.
Kurtz said his department was hesitant to resume collection duties because of staff constraints, but decided to serve as a collection point and forward payments on to the central processing center in Columbus.
“We want to promote convenience to the payer and encourage payment,” Kurtz said.
Although payments will not be processed here in Mount Vernon, checks, money orders and cashier’s checks will be collected and mailed to the processing center in Columbus on a daily basis.
“This is not any more of an expedited service,” Kurtz said. “Payments will be sent out daily.”
Once received in Columbus, payments are processed, and either checks are mailed or funds are direct deposited to the payee.
Employers are encouraged to continue sending payments directly to the processing center. Although it might be a burden for some employers, collecting support is the law, Kurtz said.
“It is the decision of the Legislature to enforce child support. We just implement policy,” Kurtz said.
The latest state figures available show that in 2006, nearly $1.5 billion was collected in child support payments through employer income withholding — 73 percent of funds collected that year.
Starting Sept. 1, payments can be made at 117 E. High St., on the fourth floor.