Computer and data systems being updated in Upsala

by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer

City records and billing in Upsala have been maintained by a system purchased in the early 1990s. The City Council approved the purchase of a new office computer and software at Monday’s meeting.
“We have an antique software system,” said Mayor Rollie Johnson. “It is being replaced by software that will allow work to be done with much higher accuracy in less time.”
A proposal by RadioShack for a Toshiba Notebook PC with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 at $619.85 was accepted at the meeting.
The Council also approved the purchase of payroll, utility billing and budget software through Banyon Data Systems, Inc. for $10,996.32. This figure includes on-site training and annual support.
“The city was using Banyon in the early 1990s, but when Banyon switched from DOS to Windows, the city chose not to make the upgrade, rendering the system incompatible,” said City Clerk-Treasurer Adrian Welle. “The big change for me is that Banyon will tie all the software systems together. Information will be entered only one time, in one place. The chance for error is reduced.”
Council Member Joan Olson had met with the city’s new auditing firm, Schlenner, Wenner two weeks before, and was told that the current system Upsala is using is too obsolete.
“They’ve worked with Banyon,” Olson said. “The audit costs would be much more if the city stayed with the old system.”
“This is the same system that is used in Royalton,” Welle said. “The new software should cut five hours a week of data entry time.”

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Other business that came before the Upsala City Council Monday included:
• Adopting a resolution appointing Dennis Westrich to fill the vacant City Council seat. “We wholeheartedly welcome him,” said Council Member Joan Olson;
• Approving an annual liquor license for the Upsala Ballpark Association for use at the ball park. A vote to not waive the fee was unanimous. A separate license will be required for Heritage Festival;
• Accepting the bid from the Morrison County Record to be the city of Upsala’s publisher for legal items;
• Approving 2013 wage rates for city employees: Maintenance Supervisor Frank Koopmeiners at $19.15 per hour, Assistant Maintenance Worker Juilian Herbes at $10.30 and City Clerk-Treasurer Adrian Welle at $18;
•Accepting a proposal by Schlenner, Wenner to be the city’s new audit firm. The city is changing auditors due to Dennis Bacon selling his business. The three-year contract with Schlenner,Wenner will not exceed $6,000 for the 2012 audit, nor increase more than 5 percent per year in 2013 and 2014;
• Approving the 2013 fee schedule; and
• Approving a request by the owner of two utility accounts to waive his late fee of $960, allowing him to pay the account balances of $220 and $2,987 in full. The Council unanimously agreed that if the account were even one day late again, the entire $960 would be reinstated.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Upsala City Council will be Monday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

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