Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

County Saving for Tech Upgrade

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

County Saving for Tech Upgrade

Article excerpt

Shawnee County will transfer $424,000 in claw-back payments it received from Home Depot into a special account, which will be used to finance an upgrade of the county's seven-year-old computer system.

Commissioners Kevin Cook, Shelly Buhler and Bob Archer voted 3-0 Thursday to approve the move.

The county received the payments from Home Depot this year to meet provisions of an incentive agreement through which the county agreed to waive property taxes during the first 10 years of operation of Home Depot's rapid deployment center at 5200 S.W. Wenger.

Home Depot agreed that if the center didn't create and maintain a specified number of jobs, Home Depot would pay a claw-back of $4,000 per job. Home Depot fell 106 jobs short, meaning it paid the county $424,000.

Betty Greiner, the county's director of administrative services, asked commissioners Thursday for permission to transfer the $424,000 to a special account.

She said that account would be used to finance an upgrade of the SunGard IFAS computer system the county has used since 2008 to that company's next generation system, "ONESolution." Seven years is a normal lifespan for a computer system, Greiner said.

She said SunGard is phasing out IFAS, which will essentially require the county to upgrade to ONESolution.

Greiner said the formation of the special account would be "just our starting point" for carrying out the upgrade. She said she didn't want to talk about total costs for the upgrade until the county has a funding source in place.

Archer replied that in a recent survey of chief executive officers of Fortune 500 companies, they said their greatest challenge was the rapid pace of technological change while the second-greatest challenge was cybersecurity. Shawnee County faces the same challenges, he said. …

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