The following is a quick round up of recent actions taken by the Town Council, based upon minutes from its July 19 meeting.
Council members unanimously approved an agreement with Tyler Technologies for a new Munis financial system, which will handle all financial functions from payroll to budgeting for Monroe Town Hall and Monroe Public Schools. It replaces the outdated ADS system.
The Munis system offers 24/7 technical support and an offsite server protecting data in the event of a disaster.
Munis will cost about $178,000 in the first year, split equally between the school district and the town. It will cost a total of $570,940 over four years. Both the Board of Education and town leaders have said the funding for the first year is already in the operating budget.
The Board of Finance also approved the contact for the Munis system.
The Board of Education has agreed borrow $110,000 a year from the town cash flow for three years at zero interest to purchase laptops and netbooks as part of Monroe Public Schools' Bring Your Own Technology program.
According to the meeting minutes, Town Finance Dir. Carl Tomchik explained that rather than putting money the town gets through cash flow into a money market account at .5% interest, the funds will be invested in education.
Board of Finance Vice Chairman Michael Manjos, who attended the meeting, said the school district will save money by buying the technological rather than leasing it.
"He stated we are looking at this as a need that was put into the budget as it will be cheaper and that is why the Board of Finance agreed to it," the meeting minutes said.
In an email to Patch, Gabriela DiBlasi, finance director for the school district, said, "It is for teacher laptops at Masuk and Jockey Hollow and the old desktops will be cascaded down to the elementary school. It is also for netbooks for Jockey Hollow that students will be able to borrow on a daily basis as part of the Bring Your Own Technology program."
The Town Council approved the agreement by a vote of 7-1, with Debra Dutches the sole dissenter. According to the minutes, Dutches "had concerns and felt this was not the way to go."
An Administrative Assistant
During the budget process, the Town Council voted against a request for a part-time administrative assistant for the Building Department, but the Board of Finance approved the funding.
Dutches made a motion asking fellow council members to reconsider the previous vote and to add the position.
She and Chairman Enid Lipeles, Vice Chairman Deborah Heim and council members J.P. Sredzinski and Frank Lieto all recognized the need. First Selectman Steve Vavrek also recommended it.
The motion was to approve a Land Use Group administrative assistant to be billed out of the Building Department.
Councilwoman Dee Dee Martin said she had voted against it during the last session, before taking it upon herself to talk to Sandor and did remember the huge concern requiring additional staff. "She felt this position will relieve him of all the stress in his office and this discussion with Mr. Sandor convinced her to agree to the new part-time position," according to the minutes.
The motion passed 8-0.
Police Building Project
The Town Council unanimously authorized First Selectman Steve Vavrek to enter into a memorandum of understanding between the state of Connecticut, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and the town of Monroe to use the $500,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant for the police station building project.
Police Chief John Salvatore said the entire project budget will now have to be revised.