Newtown Township

Technology Committee

Minutes of the meeting of October 27, 2009

The Newtown Township Technology Committee met on October 27, 2009 in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were Chairman Edward Lipski, Vice Chairman Anand Shukla and members Robert Bower and Jon Schnell. Also in attendance was Township Supervisor Mike Gallagher.

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM.

GIS Presentation: Matt Garber and Tim Mulligan of Carroll Engineering were in attendance to give an overview of a new GIS product called MuniLogic, a software program designed to provide flexible and secure asset management integrating GIS with document management capabilities. The program would be placed on each desktop, making it possible for employees to view properties, locating such information as roads and utilities, property lines and setbacks, and the history of each property. It is a server based password protected system. The program provides true scale maps as well as data.

Mr. Garber demonstrated some possible situations in which the MuniLogic software would be very helpful to various departments in the Township, including the public works, codes and zoning departments. If purchased, Carroll Engineering’s GIS staff enters all of the current data and provides training for Township employees at an additional cost which, with installation and data conversion is about 40-50% of the software costs. He gave a price list for the various components, noting that the core system is offered at $15,000 with various add-ons ranging from $2500 to $5000.

Mr. Gallagher noted that Newtown Township is part of a Jointure with Upper Makefield and Wrightstown and our sewer authority is joint with Newtown Borough. Some cooperation with these other municipalities would be necessary.

Mr. Lipski asked whether the document management would work with Docstar.

Mr. Garber said that Munilogic can be used for document management and will work in conjunction with Docstar.

The Committee agreed that to proceed with any recommendation the members would have to meet with the Township’s Technology and Code Departments to better understand what is currently being done. They thanked Mr. Garber and Mr. Mulligan for the presentation.

Tax Office Technology: Mr. Gallagher said he has invited Tammy Sutton, the Township Tax Collector, to discuss the current technology uses in the Tax Office.

Ms. Sutton said that she is currently using a customized database which is not integrated with any banking programs. She cannot accept credit card tax payments and there are complications with accepting payment from residents using on-line banking. Most of her work has to be done by hand, which in addition to billing and collecting taxes from residents and mortgage companies, includes certifications for title companies.

Ms. Sutton said that she would possibly want to have a more responsive Web site on which requests for certification could be requested and processed, as well as having the ability to make payments on line by credit card. She also would like to be able to automatically remind taxpayers of tax bill deadlines.

The Committee discussed various services and packaged software which might address some of Ms. Sutton’s needs. Most have costs associated with them, such as paypal and credit card acceptance.

Mr. Gallagher suggested that the Committee might be able to look at the programs already in use to see if there are ways to use them more efficiently first, then look into ways to help with updating using new programs and packaged software.

Ms. Sutton thanked the Committee for any help or advice they might be able to provide.

Approval of Minutes: Mr. Shukla moved to accept the minutes of August 25, 2009. Mr. Lipski seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Mr. Lipski moved to adjourn at 9:45 PM. Mr. Schnell seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

 

Respectfully Submitted:

 

Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary