SIKESTON - After struggling with incompatible softwares for many years, Sikeston city government is hoping to streamline city business with an integrated software project.
Council members authorized staff to enter into a contract with Tyler Technologies for MUNIS Integrated Software during their regular meeting Monday.
Linda Lowes, director of governmental services, explained the zero tolerance code enforcement policy for public nuisance violations involves detailed tracking of data such as property owners, property managers and tenants as well as coordinating the timely filing of complaints.
"The existing software is not robust enough," she said.
Implementation of integrated software was identified as the best solution "so it would not require personnel from every department for one function," Lowes said.
The contract, which will include setting up master databases from which all authorized users can view and share common data, is for a multi-phase project.
Three primary sections of this project will be implemented first: accounting/financials; code enforcement/city collector's property database; and Municipal Court.
Upon the successful implementation of these, staff will then focus on adding business licenses, tax billing/collections, and a selection of smaller support programs to maximize efficiency of city operations.
The total cost for the 24-36 month project will be $386,147 of which $121,900 is currently budgeted, according to Lowes. Of that, about $72,000 will go toward hardware that was due for upgrades anyway, she noted.
Council members will next be asked to approve a lease/purchase agreement in November to cover the balance.
In other business during Monday's meeting:
* An invitation to join the Southeast Missouri Economic Development Alliance was accepted.
City Manager Doug Friend explained the alliance over the last nine or 10 months has been investigating regional economic development efforts in which communities team up to "establish an identity" to market themselves.
As the money has all been donated from the private sector, the agreement is only an endorsement of the regional economic development concept, Friend said, while "there are some worthwhile things that could come of this."
Mayor Mike Marshall agreed it is "something we probably ought to participate in."
* Council members approved an addendum to the Cooperative Funding Agreement for the Convention and Visitors' Bureau Advisory Board which increases terms of board members from two years to three.
Lowes said appointees have served two-year terms since its inception in 1997 but have since determined longer terms are needed due to the complexity of developing marketing strategies and the knowledge needed to participate in the state's Cooperative Marketing Program.
The Miner Board of Aldermen has already voted to extend their terms to three years, Lowes said.
The addendum will also stagger the terms for the city's four members.
* A bill which would amend city code relating to the Department of Economic Development Executive Board and Department was once again tabled for further discussion.
Councilman Jim Terrell said he has a problem with the section which would put the board in charge of hiring and firing economic developers while having those in the position report to the city manager.
Terrell said it "seems logical" for the city manager to have the authority to hire and fire economic developers like all other city employees except for the city clerk and city treasurer which are appointed by the City Council.
Marshall said the Council appears to be "evenly split" on the issue and proposed they "review and maybe discuss it some more" as well as seek an opinion from the city's attorney.
* Council members have an hour tour of city alleys tentatively scheduled for noon Thursday as they consider a request to eliminate alley solid waste pickups.
* An administrative bill amending city code to reflect previously adopted zoning classifications was approved by the Council.
The changes provide an up-to-date listing of the greater number of zoning classifications now available to developers.
* A request to rezone Four Corners Development Phase 10, the 2.63 acre tract of land east of Office Max and south of Lowes, from agricultural open space to C-3 highway commercial was approved by the Council. Council members also approved the request to subdivide the area.
* Gary Collier of Lake Street voiced his complaint about a recent car show which included "noise galore" as well as participants "in the alley smoking dope and drinking beers."
Terrell noted that while the event did have a permit, the business was denied a permit for the following week.
Friend said the city was approached for a car show permit and had no idea it would actually be a loud stereo contest.
"It shouldn't happen again," he promised.