Christmas has come early for Garden City Clerk/Treasurer Allyson Bettis. She has received approval for something that has been on her wish list for years.
The Garden City Council has approved purchase of the new financial software system from BS&A Net Municipal Software System, with required hardware upgrades, at a cost of $262,774 over three years.
“I’m very happy,” said Bettis.
Council members agreed that the current DOS based system is outdated. Councilwoman Joanne Dodge also agreed that a new system was needed, but questioned if this was the time to actually approve the new system because the city is still going through the proposed 2013-14 budget and part of the money to purchase the system is coming from the capital improvement fund and the projects haven’t been prioritized.
“This is something that we have needed for a long time,” said Councilman David Fetter.
The city’s accounting system software was installed in 1996. This software is used for general ledger accounting, taxes, payroll, utility billing, cash receipting, special assessments and business licenses. In information provided by Deputy Treasurer Therese Barraco, she called this “the bedrock of the city’s financial system.”
“This software package, written for an IBM AS/400 platform, has become obsolete,” she said.
Although the vendor, New World Systems, continues to provide support, it no longer offers the AS/400 based system to new customers. The IBM Model 800 server that supports the accounting software is getting old and has passed its normal life expectancy. It has already failed twice, requiring the installation of replacement components, she said.
The Disk Operating System (DOS) was the early operating system used on computers. When Windows 95 came along, and all the various windows operating systems since then, DOS became obsolete, she said.
The BS&A Software Company specializes in comprehensive financial software systems for local governmental entities. It is a Michigan-based company that provides software systems for cities, townships and counties throughout Michigan. This software package is tailored to Michigan governmental entities and offers reports that are compatible with the State of Michigan Department of Treasury and Wayne County Treasurer’s Office. Garden City now uses BS&A software in the Building Department and Assessment.
It is expected to integrate well and save employees time.
The city will waive the bid procedure, and instead, use bid information from the City of Birmingham, where BS&A was the lowest bidder, as permitted by Section 35.07 of the Code of Ordinances. BS&A has offered a discounted cost of $219,125 to Garden City, which is less than the cost to Birmingham, although Garden City is larger, she said. They have also agreed to honor their training pricing from August 2012 and will allow the purchase to be paid off over three years.
The total charges to Garden City will be $262,774.23, with the Water Fund covering about 20 percent of the cost and the Capital Improvement Fund covering about 80 percent.