Oneida considers information technology upgrade

Published Feb 10, 2018 at 4:00pm

ONEIDA — Terry Quinn of Tyler Technologies spoke to the Oneida Common Council Tuesday evening regarding a possible software upgrade for the city’s computer and internet system. The city had been using the KVS system, but the technology used in that system is 30 years old and has no upgrades available to make it compatible to more modern software.

“Installing this would solve all sorts of communication problems between our departments,” Oneida Mayor Leo N. Matzke said.

Quinn told the council that his company has 170 clients in New York State, including Madison County.

“Stay with us, and we will keep your system current in the coming years,” Quinn said. “We want to be partners for 20 years or more.”

The new system would allow the city’s departments to instantly access their existing budget.

“If the police captain, for example, wanted to buy a new patrol cruiser he could access his department’s budget and find whether the city would need to do a budget transfer to purchase the vehicle,” Quinn said.

The system would also improve communications between the city and its residents.

“If there was to be a fire hydrant flush the system could alert all residents in the area where it happens. It would also tell whether these people were reached, or if the computer left a message,” Quinn said.

The system, Quinn said, would also allow better communications with the Millennial workers the city is hoping to attract. Millennials are broadly defined as being born after Generation X, between 1981 and 2000. They are known for achieving high education levels and for their technological savvy.

“Millennials in the United States number 83 million, and 85 percent of them pay their bills electronically. They don’t like writing checks and they don’t like opening mail,” Quinn said.

The system would take up to a year to install. It would start with finance and budget systems and move on to utilities.

“Having a modern IT system is as important as sewer and water lines and record databases,” Quinn said.

The system would include a billing system for those who pay online.

Energy law hearing

No one spoke to a proposed amendment to a local law regarding the city’s participation in the Energize NY Benefit Financing Program.

The council had previously approved a local law to allow city’s participation in the program.

State officials had required certain adjustments to Oneida’s law, and the laws of all municipalities using the program, to make them consistent. The council will now be able to vote whether to pass the amended law at its Feb. 20 meeting.

Oneida’s participation in Energize NY allows it to offer Property Assessed Clean Energy financing for clean energy projects to companies that use clean energy practices in their business model.

PACE financing programs allow local governments to provide financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water efficiency projects that building owners pay back through property tax assessments. Oneida joined Energize NY in October.