Oro-Medonte starts work on new computer management system

·2 min read

A virtual city hall is coming to a computer near you.

After two years of waiting for approval of the new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or system-wide computer system, Oro-Medonte is ready to take that next step.

“We were all set to go, and then COVID-19 happened,” said Shannon Johnson, chief financial officer (CFO) and treasurer of the township.

Council gave approval March 24 for bid winner Diamond Municipal Solutions to begin laying the groundwork for the new ERP. The township is readying to spend $342,678 on Phase 1.

“This provides extended citizen engagement and service,” she said.

In 2022, utility and tax invoices will forgo paper bills and offer online payments. Residents will be able to view their private accounts and ensure their bills are paid or require a top-up.

Johnson said the township will be able to send out e-billing electronically and in future, residents will be able to renew their dog licences online.

“There will be a pet search function, with dog tag numbers and while maintaining privacy, you’ll be able to find your dog or return someone else’s using the township’s search tool,” she said.

Johnson said the nuts and bolts of the system will include updating the general ledger and being able to export accounts to accounts payable and accounts receivables ledgers.

The township is replacing a 20-year-old Baker database system, supported by a sole proprietor, that is at its limit of capacity.

The new Diamond network, a division of CentralSquare Technologies, has its headquarters in B.C. It already has 12 municipalities as customers within the Simcoe County area and 100-plus in Ontario to learn from and co-ordinate with, she said.

“We can compare best practices and integrate work-management systems,” she said.

Although Diamond’s bid was initially $154,518 higher than that of its nearest competitor TownSuite Municipal Enterprise Resource Planning, Diamond offers 34 days of training for staff, compared to 11 by TownSuite. It also includes all licensing fees upfront, so its annual maintenance fees are lower by $22,237 annually.

Cheryl Browne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance