Hayden seeks money to upgrade town's computer system

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— Town employees are asking Hayden Town Council members to consider spending about $10,600 to upgrade the computer systems used by town employees.

According to a report from Town Manager David Torgler, there are going to be surplus funds from the police department's budget that can be used to fund the project before the end of the year. Even with the expenditure, there still will be an expected surplus in the police department's budget because of salary, health benefits and other savings. The department was understaffed for parts of the year.

Staff reports will be delivered to the Town Council beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday. The regular meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. At the end of the meeting, Hayden business owner Tammie Delaney will talk to the board about partnering with the Colorado Center for Community Development to plan for future parking needs in the town, facade improvements and signage.

The town had originally budgeted $1,000 for 2013 to be spent on technology upgrades, but it became clear that a larger investment was needed.

Numerous pieces of equipment and software are old and need to be replaced, Torgler said, and the town is unhappy with its current information technology contractor. Equipment and software has not been maintained and updated, and the town is unable to share files between Town Hall, the police department and public works department. It is unknown whether certain backup systems are working.

"There are probably other issues that will be uncovered as this process moves forward; however, these are the preliminary, immediate and potentially damaging concerns that have been identified," Torgler said.

Torgler said the technology upgrades are important if the town is to provide the best possible customer service to residents.

"Proper and functional information technologies become a force multiplier that helps the staff provide this service while keeping costs down through personnel savings and increased productivity," Torgler said.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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