Licking County News

Nicholson: Pataskala needs new accounting software

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Pataskala Finance Director James Nicholson told the city's finance committee July 8 that a new accounting software system is needed.

Nicholson said the current software was installed by Governmental Systems before 1995 and was updated in 2005 to work like Microsoft's Windows.

He called Pataskala's current system "antiquated."

Nicholson said it is set up for a single user and is not based on a computer server.

He said only one finance employee at a time can work on the system and both finance employees have to use the same computer to access the system.

Nicholson said it would have been difficult to request proposals from vendors so he requested prices from the five major government budgeting software companies in Ohio: Donald R. Frey and Co., Software Solutions, Civica, New World Systems and Tyler Technologies.

The bids from the five companies ranged from $25,000 to $85,000 for software installation, maintenance and support.

Nicholson told the finance committee July 8 he recommends the city pay Software Solutions $35,886 to install a new system.

He said the system would allow access for several authorized users and would allow real-time budgeting for city department heads, who could enter purchase orders and see how much money would be left in the fund.

Nicholson said if City Council agrees to purchase software from Software Solutions, the city would have to waive competitive-bidding requirements since he requested prices from top vendors instead of asking for bids.

Pataskala City Councilman Bryan Lenzo, who serves on the finance committee, asked if Nicholson could include a new payroll system in the purchase for less than $50,000.

Lenzo said the city desperately needs a payroll system.

Nicholson agreed the city needs a new payroll system but said it might be difficult to install both in the same year.

He agreed to price a payroll system and report back to City Council.

The finance committee also reviewed the city's proposal to spend $85,000 to remove and replace ash trees in the Barrington Ridge, Brooksedge and Taylor Glen subdivisions.

Committee Chairwoman Merissa McKinstry said City Council is expected to discuss ash tree removal July 15.

Last year, the city spent $14,000 to replace 42 dead ash trees in Brooksedge West, said BJ King, the city's public-services director.

This year, the city had budgeted $15,000 for tree replacement but city officials have said it would cost $85,000 to replace trees in the three subdivisions.

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