Courthouse getting computer server ugrade

Published 12:08 am Saturday, January 28, 2012

Finding property titles, court decisions and other legal tedium has become a virtual snap in the digital age.

However, point-and-click has become point-and-wait for legal eagles and others in Warren County government as they wait for a new server to pick up the pace.

“It has its moments, I tell you,” Sarah Flanagan, a local legal assistant, said during a typical work day made longer as pages change slower and slower on computers in the land records room, next to the chancery clerk’s office. “Are they going to get some new ones?”

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There won’t be new computers, but a new server was ordered this month from Clearwater, Fla.-based Premise Inc. to replace the AS400 system installed about six years ago. The cost was $69,400. The county will finance the emergency purchase over time.

The full system has arrived and installation began Friday, said Ken Coleman, director of information technology for Warren County. If a final piece of hardware arrives on time, full operation is expected a week after that.

“We’ve just had to let the old one slow down until the new one is installed,” Coleman said, adding the phase-in will allow departments with systems fed by the new server to continue normal operations.

Record systems powered by the AS400 server include those in the chancery clerk, circuit clerk, tax assessor and tax collector’s offices, and the accounting and payroll departments.

It can’t come soon enough for those whose daily work speed largely depends on the computer system.

“It’s been real slow in here,” said deputy chancery clerk Mary Flaggs, whose job is paperless these days, as deeds, recordings and court-related documents scanned into the main system go straight back to judges and attorneys — which is part of the problem while the new server is being prepared. “I don’t know when it’ll be better.”

Projected IT funding in the 2011-12 operating budget was $123,584, same as last year.