Hastings City Council approves technology upgrade to communicate better with residents

Hastings Utilities (NTV News)

Mayor Cory Stutte says since he was elected in 2016, the city has been in need of a technology upgrade.

He says currently, city departments are doing certain tasks on paper.

In January 2017, the IT Strategy committee was formed to help establish technology needs of city employees.

Monday night, city council members approved 8-0 an $841,659 contract with Tyler Technologies.

The company's Enterprise Resource Planning will provide a software solution for things such as planning & permitting and incident management.

Once implemented, resident complaints for things such as potholes can be filed online. It will also give people access to a transparency portal to view budget information for both the city and Hastings Utilities. City council members said this will increase communication with citizens.

Mayor Stutte said the upgrade will make operations more efficient and bring the city to the 21st century.

"It's a big deal. It really does bring us up to speed with where we need to be and it's going to be a long haul to get to the eventual finish line on this. But, ya know, being where citizens are and being where employees are I think is incredibly important," said Stutte.

The project will take two years to implement.

Also approved at the City Council meeting was a $74,148 asphalt recycler.

Officials said it will help speed-up road construction.

Right now they say they have to haul in asphalt from plants that are 30 to 40 miles away.

They said the recycler will especially be helpful during winter months when asphalt plants aren't open.

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