(TNS) -- With one contract approved Monday by the City Council and another scheduled for later this month, the city of Independence looks to modernize its software for municipal court, financial and human resource management systems.
The two contracts are with Tyler Technologies for a combined $5.29 million. Most of that figure – $5.053 million – is for the financial and human resources software, with payments spread out over seven years. The firm Berry, Dunn, McNeil and Park will provide consulting and management services for an additional cost of $268,000 paid over 18 months.
City Manager Zach Walker said the software changes are long overdue and will put Independence on par with similar cities, not to mention take a step toward one of the council goals of financial sustainability
"A key part of this is making sure we have the right infrastructure in place," Walker said. "Our current operating system (purchased in 1997) is several generations behind."
Added Mayor Eileen Weir, "This is a can that got kicked down the road for a long time."
Tyler Technologies was picked from three finalists among 10 initial proposals.
The new software will be implemented in four phases, starting this month with a targeted completion of January 2019.
The municipal court system contract, scheduled to be approved Sept. 18, is for $237,769, and if done so the software should be ready by May 2018, according to city information.
Walker said it would be hard to quantify any potential savings from the new financial and human resources software, as they would help more with staff efficiency and being able to track data trends.
However, the municipal court software, which would replace a 40-year-old system, can provide automated notification to offenders regarding unpaid citations, court dates and warrants. It also will allow for the court docket to be found online. Based on previous municipalities that have used it, Tyler's software can lead to reduced failure-to-appear rates and increased collections, the city says.
DOWNTOWN REDEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE: The city is accepting applications for the new Downtown Redevelopment Coordinating Committee.
The new 10-person group, created by unanimous vote during Monday's City Council meeting, was created to help advance neighborhood stabilization and economic development. The city considers downtown to be bound by Noland Road on the east, Lexington and Pacific avenues to the south, Winner Road to the south and west and U.S. 24 to the north. It includes the neighborhood and business districts of Englewood, Fairmount, Maywood and the Independence Square.
District 2 Council Member Curt Dougherty has been appointed to be committee chairperson and will be the council liaison.
The committee will advise the council on projects such as the City Hall Master Plan, the downtown Farmers Market, the U.S. 24 bridge improvements, trail connections and various commercial redevelopment and streetscape improvements. Some recommendations outside the downtown area also could be made if they meet committee objectives.
The city created the committee in part from citizen survey responses that showed low satisfaction with development west of Noland Road and placed great importance on maintaining the Square's character and preserving historic sites.
Independence residents can apply online at indepmo.us/boardscommissionsappform. At this time, appointed committee members will serve through September 2018.
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