Town Officials Will Spend New Year's Eve in Their Offices -- Just in Case
Miller, Susan Hoskins, Nation's Cities Weekly
FISHERS, Ind. (ANS)--Town department heads in Indiana's fastest-growing community here think they probably have all their Y2K problems smoothed out, but they won't be celebrating next New Year's Eve at home all the same.
The officials will be at work in their various departments that night, just in case the Y2K bug does create trouble when the clock strikes midnight.
Fishers' town manager Mike Booth said that even though all the town's computers and programs have been tested and are Y2K-compliant, each department head has developed a contingency plan just in case something goes wrong.
"They include what to do if our service providers can't perform for us," Booth said. "Our systems are all dependent upon these services, such as electricity and gas."
Fishers, just outside Indianapolis, was a village surrounded by corn and soybean fields until relatively recently, but as Indianapolis suburbs sprawled outward and farmland was sold off to developers, Fishers' population grew from 2,008 in 1980 to 27,359 in 1997.
The community's school corporation, Hamilton Southeastern Schools, is constantly building new schools in an attempt to keep up with the growth.
Town manager Booth said that if the town's electric power does shut down in the event of a Y2K failure, the Fishers Police Department building will become Command Central. "We will just take our laptops and set up over there," Booth said.
The police headquarters building has a generator that can supply electricity to the building for 30 days. It also has a 500-gallon tank of fuel on site to add to the generator if its operation needs to continue for a longer period of time.
"We have generators at the fire department, sewer plants, at the lift stations and a portable generator that we can move around to other lift stations or where ever it is needed." He said an emergency police team will be ready to go out and direct traffic if stoplights aren't working.
The government in Hamilton County, where Fishers is located, recently tested its own computer systems.
"We changed the dates to Dec. 31, 1999 and let it roll over to Jan. 1, 2000 and all the systems stayed up," said B.J. Casali, director of the county's computer systems. "Everything ran, the time clocks kept running, e-mail, voice mail, the phone system, the computers. We created files that stayed intact and we were able to access them with no problem. Payroll was tested, the tax system was tested and the GIS (geographic information system) department came in and checked their system. …