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Tennessee City Works to Plan Upgrade of Online Systems

The Columbia, Tenn., city finance department is now seeking $65,000 in funding to upgrade its finance and accounting software with vendor E-Government Solutions, which comes after a year’s worth of work.

by Jay Powell, The Daily Herald / January 12, 2021

(TNS) — Columbia, Tenn., City Council now has a new board and new agenda to begin its 2021 round of meetings, beginning with the swearing in of three new members.

On Tuesday, each council member was sworn in as part of a special-called meeting.

Council members serving their first terms include  DaVena HardisonWard 1Kenny MarshallWard 4 and  Danny ColemanWard 5. Council members  Ken WilesWard 2 and  Anthony GreeneWard 3, were also sworn in for another four-year term.

"2020 was a very challenging year for our city, for all of our residents, but we were able to, through the grace of God and good management, manage through 2020," Mayor  Chaz Molder  said.

"We are as well positioned in the city of Columbia as any other city in the state for the year 2021 and the opportunities that lie ahead."

The city finance department is now seeking $65,000 in funding to upgrade its finance and accounting software with vendor E-Government Solutions.

Assistant City Manager  Thad Jablonski , who also serves as finance director, said the upgrades are the result of more than a year's worth of work to create a better finance system for the city.

"We are really pleased that we've found a finance and accounting software vendor that will allow us to do a few things," Jablonski said.

"Those are to provide online payment capabilities to our citizens and to our local businesses, which is a strategic planning objective. The second will allow us to provide online permitting, licensure and citations, which again will provide online capabilities to our citizens and local businesses."

The software will also provide employees at the city Recorder's Office the capability to work remotely, something Jablonski said would have come in handy at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"If we had had these capabilities back in April when everything shut down due to the pandemic, we would have been able to keep our recorder's office employees working from home, and we wouldn't have skipped a beat," he said.

"We would have had everybody working at once, which in any type of disaster you would be able to work off-site from anywhere."

The $65,000 purchase for the software would also be a one-time payment. There will be an annual $50,000 operating fee, which is the same amount the city pays now.

Columbia Marketing and Tourism Director  Kellye Murphy  added that the new software will be implemented along with a new Columbia city website, which is currently being prepped to rollout sometime by April.

"We'll have a beautiful new site with functionality, within the parameters of our template, where payments are taken, like the City Recorder department, planning and so forth," Murphy said. "This will be terrific."

Jablonski added that, while the city's site will launch by April, the new finance software could take over a year to become fully operational.

Columbia Fire & Rescue will receive a leg up in its emergency response capabilities with a donation of additional lifesaving equipment from Maury Regional Health Care Foundation.

The Zoll X Series monitor/defibrillator, which is valued at $35,000, allows fire crews to administer ER procedures to patients directly on the scene. It is designed to get medical attention to the patient faster, as well as sending information to doctors and other hospital workers.

Fire Chief  Ty Cobb  said the equipment is absolutely vital to saving lives, because firefighters are often the first to arrive on the scene. And in some situations every second can mean the difference between life and death.

"This technology allows us to transmit leads, 12 leads, straight to the ER to start patient care and start those rhythms where the ER doctor can see them," Cobb said. "It also gives them the flexibility to check vitals, blood pressure, heart rhythms, defibrillate. It is a lifesaving piece of equipment."

Vice Mayor  Christa Martin  said she knows first-hand how important life-saving equipment can be and that she is grateful for Maury Regional's donation .

"Having that as an inventory item for us is a lifesaver and a life changer. I appreciate that so much," Martin said.

(c)2021 The Daily Herald (Columbia, Tenn.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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