Bainbridge adopts new billing, accounting software

Saturday, February 13, 2016

BAINBRIDGE -- Town board members adopted the use of Keystone Accounting software Wednesday at their monthly meeting within Bainbridge Town Hall.

Presented to the public by Board President Jerry Lents, Keystone Accounting could potentially save the town approximately $20,000 over the course of one year by cutting costs on everything from envelopes to man-hours.

According to Lents, office expenses ran as high as $38,000 in 2015 from using an outdated accounting process for not only out-of-house filing but residential billing.

By utilizing Keystone, which requires a one-time purchasing fee of $18,887, town officials would save a great deal of funds over a short period of time.

"I think it's a really good idea," Lents said. "Most small towns are using this ... and we (will) actually save 15 percent by bundling the accounting and billing processes.

"This will take care of payroll, W2s, all of the billing, liens," Lents continued. "It's a great package, it really is. That's why a lot of towns are going to this."

The town lost around $28,000, however, Town Marshal Rodney Fenwick said.

"If we had done the service ourselves last year, how much would that have cost us over the difference of what the company charged us?" Fenwick asked.

"I don't have those figures," Clerk-Treasurer Monica Bray responded. "The supplies, the envelopes, billing statement papers, postage -- postage was approximately $140 a month -- it was about $60 a month, plus (man) hours."

Bray's estimates and other examples totaled around $8,000-$10,000 to Fenwick.

"So we had a loss of about $28,000?"

"I wouldn't exactly call it a 'loss' so to speak," said Bray, citing in response several methods with which the town will accumulate savings. "It costs $3.50 to mail out just one envelope."

Lents added that, thanks to the use of such a system, fees and other penalties would be curbed.

"This would also prevent us from having to pay the fees for this company, provided this service works," Lents said.

The board approved the use of Keystone Accounting software by a count of 3-0 with implementation pending.

In other business:

* The Park Board recently met and discussed priorities for 2016 once the weather turns and areas become more accessible. A sign at the north park, more uniformity for benches and other decorations were also discussed. Pricing for the updates will be brought before the board at its meeting in March, though it was acknowledged that Bainbridge Elementary's recycling program will help to offset costs.

* Troy Elless presented the utility board report, citing that a planning grant in excess of $30,000 to be used for the wastewater plant could resolve an issue with the town's sewage system as it overflows during times of heavy rainfall.

Smoke testing, video documenting and engineering reports will be required ahead of the grant application.

Elless added that Bainbridge will be co-sponsoring the Indiana Municipal Electric Association conference in May with Lebanon.

* Fenwick presented the marshal's report to the board, saying that he has seen a rise in drug-related arrests of late. Synthetic drugs seem to be a common choice but he included that opiate-based drugs such as morphine or heroin have been seldom seen in Bainbridge for the last six months to one year -- a sudden improvement, Fenwick said.

Fenwick added that a car had recently been stolen but was recovered later the same day.

* The Putnam County Animal Care and Control Board received a new appointee Wednesday in Tomeeka Gross. Volunteering to fill a vacant spot on the board, Gross will remain on the control board (which meets monthly) for one year.

* During its January meeting, the town board unanimously approved an upgrade of the town's website, which currently lists outdated information with a no longer suitable design. A "shell" of the town's next website is currently in the works and will be presented to the board in March.

* The Bicentennial Legacy Project committee is looking for volunteers to enshrine and "immortalize" Indiana's 200th birthday in some way. Board members said anyone from the community is welcome to join and several ideas are currently on the table.

If interested, contact Bainbridge Town Hall at 765-522-6238.

* Representatives from Bainbridge Cemetery requested the town include its paths when de-icing and plowing through the winter months. February's frozen ground and slick conditions for funeral attendees were cited. The board was heavily in favor of the idea and approved a motion that would allow Elless to determine what price, if any, would be required to do so.

* Meeting times for future regular public sessions were discussed. The board will vote next month on whether to change the meeting times to 6:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month instead of the usual 7 p.m.

* Reports of resident requests for the addition of a street light were talked. Locations included Brewer and Main streets, as well as a connecting alleyway. A street light was approved to be placed at 410 E. Main St. with a vote of 3-0. Elless said it's only a matter of "slapping it up there" and will be installed as soon as possible.

* Councilman Joel Thompson brought up an idea for an on-call list of volunteers to provide services for seniors and others with inadequate transportation. Volunteers are encouraged to help Bainbridge patients reach appointments in Danville, Greencastle or Indianapolis. If interested, contact Bainbridge Town Hall at 765-522-6238.

* Claims were not discussed before adjournment.

The next regularly scheduled meeting for the town of Bainbridge will be March 9 at 7 p.m.

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