Newark is working with Alphalink to upgrade its computer systems.

Newark is working with Alphalink to upgrade its computer systems.

John Carson, owner of Alphalink, said the company is working to ensure the system has a backup " to do a better, more efficient job."

Newark City Council agreed to contract with Alphalink in July, during a reorganization of the public-services department and consolidation of the parks-recreation and cemetery departments.

Service director Kathleen Barch said Alphalink was expected to begin work Aug. 1, and be paid $3,000 a month for running the city's computer network.

Carson said Alphalink representatives began working with the city -- at no charge -- after the contract was ratified in July to work with the city's information technologies specialist, Jim Kolb. Kolb's position was eliminated as part of the reorganization.

"We wanted to spend time with him so we were not running blind," Carson said.

Carson said the city's system presents some challenges.

"We're trying to tie different departments together a little better," he said. "Hopefully, it will work a lot better."

Alphalink already works with the Newark police and fire departments. Carson said by having both of those departments linked, the company was able to save the city some money. He looks to do the same for the system in the city building.

When asked what types of equipment the city needs to purchase, Carson said the city already has the necessary equipment and infrastructure. It might require a few purchases and a little "tweaking" to get the system to where it needs to be, he said.

His main concern now is in working on the backup system, he said.

"It's something they've needed to do for a while," he said.

Barch said Alphalink has been a good asset while the Licking County Municipal Court transfers to a new software system. The change requires eight hours of work per week from one of the city's two information-technology personnel.

"They (Alphalink) have personnel trying to help temporarily until the court is up and running," Barch said.

Carson said Alphalink estimated it would have to have personnel on site for two to four months, getting systems upgraded and changing some of the systems.

"After that, it should smooth out, and we'll be able to back off," he said.

Carson said the company's goal is to help the city utilize its resources 100 percent and help the city prepare for the future.

He said working with an outside company instead of internal staff could be good because the outsider has a different view of the system.

"We're not trying to get rich off the city," Carson said. "In the long run, we want to help them save costs. We will utilize our staff to help do their daily work."

Alphalink's contract is for one year.