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WANT CENTENNIAL SOUVENIR IN DAVIS? JUST CHARGE IT

County government has entered the era of plastic.

A contract with First Security Bank was approved recently by the Davis County Commission to let buyers of Utah Centennial memorabilia make their purchase with a credit card.The county's Centennial Commission is operating a mini-store in the courthouse, selling T-shirts, mugs and numerous other centennial souvenirs. A portion of the proceeds stays in the county to fund its 1996 centennial celebration.

But many of the potential buyers have gone away empty-handed because the county doesn't accept credit cards, County Treasurer Mark Altom said Wednesday.

To remedy that, the county signed up with First Security for a Visa account.

Altom said while it may be a valuable selling tool for T-shirts, he doesn't recommend it for other county revenue collections such as property or vehicle registration taxes. The bank gets a percentage of each transaction as a service fee, which Altom said would have an adverse impact on county tax revenues.

But the program could aid other county ventures, such as its two golf courses, Commissioner Carol Page pointed out. Companies sponsoring golf tournaments or renting clubhouse space for events find it easier to put the charges on a credit card, she said.

"It opens that door," Altom agreed, saying he's discussed the idea with the two golf pros.

Altom said the county has sold about $5,000 worth of centennial items so far, netting $1,800 toward its centennial celebration next year.