Kane County's hiring of a firm to negotiate the best possible price for a massive technology upgrade for the justice system has yielded a savings of about $225,000. But it's the overall cost of the project that has county board members breathing a sigh of relief.
The project will include the installation of a new case management system that will bring more synergy between the four county agencies involved with court cases, from an arrest to the imposition of a punishment.
The current system is so old that many employees often resort to counting records manually, resulting in unreliable data and the loss of thousands of dollars in state funding. The system change is so complicated it might take five years to fully integrate the software and fund the project.
The software, maintenance and licensing will come from Texas-based Tyler Technologies. The company came to the table with a $6.25 million price tag for its services. That number was already a vast improvement from the $12.6 million estimate an initial study pegged as the costs of the upgrade four years ago.
Negotiations brought the $6.25 million cost down to $6.025 million. But that cost doesn't include a $603,000 contingency.
Kane County Chief Information Officer Roger Fahnestock told the county board's Judicial and Public Safety Committee on Friday there will be additional costs beyond the software, maintenance and licensing.
"We think the cost will still be under $12.6 million," Fahnestock said.
"We think it can be substantially lower, but we know for sure what the software, maintenance and licensing will cost."
A resolution approved by the committee Friday called for a cost not to exceed $6.87 million, which includes project-related travel expenses in addition to the contingency. County officials plan to pay for the project with public safety sales tax dollars.
There are also soft costs involved with the project in the form of four new county employees to oversee the project.
Those employees add more than $400,000 a year in salaries and benefit costs to the county budget.
The full county board must still vote on the contract before the nuts and bolts work can begin.