Minutes of the meeting of April 29, 2014
The Newtown Township Technology Committee met on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 7:30 PM. In attendance and voting were: Chairman Kyle Davis, Dan Paramesh, Prasad Ramnath and Jon Schnell.
Call to Order: Mr. Davis called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.
Approval of Minutes: Mr. Paramesh moved to approve the minutes of February 25, 2014. Mr. Davis seconded and the motion passed 4-0.
Munilogic Software Presentation: Matt Garber and Pete Stanthorpe of Carroll Engineering were in attendance to demonstrate Munilogic, a document management system designed specifically for municipalities. The system streamlines the day to day functions of municipal employees. It includes GIS mapping and organizes files by property. It eliminates the need for most paper copies and is easily learned by employees and allows for multiple users to collaborate and share work.
Mr. Garber explained that Munilogic is dot net programmed and Web based via Internet Explorer. Nothing is installed locally. It has a Microsoft sequel database. Carroll Engineering will import documents from old systems. There is no limit to the number of users.
Mr. Stanthorpe, who is also a supervisor of Lower Makefield Township, said that Lower Makefield and Northampton already use Munilogic and are very pleased with it.
Mr. Garber demonstrated the use of Munilogic, which is organized by tax map parcel. He discussed typical work done in the municipality and showed how the system tracks activities on a property. He explained as an example, a call to the Township with a complaint about a property, showing how the initial contact person would take information by either name or address, would enter details of the complaint and would share it with interested departments, such as police or public works or code enforcement. Once the complaint is addressed, the system is updated and shared.
Mr. Garber said that in addition to keeping and sharing accurate records on properties, the system can calculate fees, streamline permit process, and generate labels for notification of zoning matters.
The members asked about migration to the system.
Mr. Garber said that full implementation takes about four months. The base cost is $15,000 with each add-on module costing about $5000. Conversion and training have additional costs. Mr. Garber agreed to forward a detailed cost structure outline to the members so that they can do an accurate cost benefit analysis. He stressed that Carroll is a local business, so support of the program is usually in person.
After Messrs. Garber and Stanthorpe left the meeting, the members compared their reactions to the system. They had some concerns about the system being based in Internet Explorer, which could conflict with the increased Township use of GoogleDocs. They liked the mobile functionality of the program but were also eager to see a demonstration of Property Pilot, another municipal software product.
Social Media Policy: Mr. Davis shared the Doylestown Township Social Media Policy, developed by Begley Carlin, with the members.
The members noted that the Doylestown Facebook page apparently allows for comments. Mr. Davis agreed to follow up with Doylestown to learn if they have any issues with comments. He would also reach out to our Police and Park and Recreation Departments to learn whether their comments are closely monitored and whether they have had problems with inappropriate comments.
Wireless for Administration Building: Mr. Davis said that he has found a number of inexpensive routers which could connect the community rooms to the Township’s Wireless. He has also spoken to HPT, the Township’s technology consultants, about doing the work for about $135 per hour.
Township Web Site: The members were in agreement that the Township Web Site should be a priority for the Committee and should begin focusing more on that at future meetings.
The meeting adjourned at 9:20 PM.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary