SUNBURY - A new computer software system unanimously approved by Northumberland County commissioners Tuesday will provide a "paperless" process for the accounting, payroll, purchasing and human resources departments.

The $358,477 cost of the new system from Tyler Technology of Yarmouth, Maine, will be paid with money from the general fund and county records improvement fund.

The committee that oversees the records improvement fund has allocated $100,000 toward the purchase. Committee members include chairperson and Register and Recorder Mary Zimmerman, Treasurer Kevin Gilroy, Sheriff Chad Reiner, Prothonotary Kathleen Strausser and Commissioner Stephen Bridy.

Budget director Jeff McClintock said money for the new system has been budgeted for 2014.

Bridy, who recommended the purchase, and fellow Commissioners Vinny Clausi and Richard Shoch approved it.

Controller Tony Phillips said the current computer software system is 14 years old and outdated. He said the new system, which will take up to a year to be implemented, will streamline the accounting, payroll and human resources departments. "Basically, it will make the processing of county bills a lot faster," Phillips said.

The controller said the cost of the system includes software, data conversion, implementation and staff training, but not maintenance.

Bridy praised chief clerk Gary Steffen for negotiating the price and obtaining a discount from Tyler Technology. He said the original price was $392,490.

Phillips said, "There are a lot of benefits to the system and the county will save money after its up-front investment."

The controller said he recommended two computer software systems from a lengthy list that would allow the commissioners to negotiate the best deal for the taxpayers.

Backup server

In a related matter, the commissioners voted 2-1 to enter into a contract with Blue River Technology and Amazon Web Services of Virginia to provide backup emergency power services to the county in case its servers at the administration center are damaged or destroyed during a fire, flood or other disaster.

The backup services would allow the county to still function via the Internet at other county-owned buildings.

The county agreed to pay Blue River $5,900 per month, but has 30 days to back out of the agreement after it is signed.

Bridy, who recommended securing backup services, and Clausi voted in favor of the contract. Shoch opposed it because he said the motion was just presented Tuesday and he wasn't involved in any of the discussions.

The new computer software system and backup emergency power services were not included on the meeting agenda and were suggested at the end of the session.

Blight review committee

Commissioners approved the establishment of a blighted property review committee consisting of Northumberland County Housing Authority Executive Director Edward Christiano, county planning director Pat Mack, Jamie Shrawder of SEDA-COG, tax claims director Jan Nestico, Controller Tony Phillips, grants manager Kathy Jeremiah and Chris Gulotta, a blight consultant with the Gulotta Group, Carlisle.

Several of the committee members also serve on the Northumberland County Blight Task Force.

In other business:

- Commissioners awarded a $73,967 contract to T-Ross Brothers Construction Inc. for the replacement of a pedestrian bridge on Mulberry Street in the Fifth Ward of Shamokin. The county will be reimbursed for the bridge work by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The City of Shamokin will not be responsible for any costs.

Clausi said the county agreed to pay former mapper Bonnie Avellino in the engineer's office $4,000 to settle a grievance filed by her and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Avellino was terminated from county employment April 12, 2012.

- The board approved the condemnation of a property owned by Helen and Pauline Kolody in Washington Township to restore and realign a stream bed.

- Bridy reported approximately $9,000 was raised at the second annual "Forgotten Initiative" Golf Tournament sponsored by the commissioners Friday at Knoebels Three Ponds Golf Course in Elysburg. Bridy said the tournament helps raise funds for foster children to be placed with good foster parents.

- At the beginning of the meeting, Northumberland County Prison Correctional Officers Deborah J. Zaleskie, Andrew J. Quiles Jr., Joshua Lehman, Evan P. Jamison, Jason D. Greak and Brandon M. Fox were presented certificates for being named employees of the month for September.