Lemoore will be moving forward with replacing its 22-year-old city software after approval from the City Council on Tuesday, and water restrictions prompted by a water tank explosion have been lifted.
Assistant City Manager and Administrative Services Director Michelle Speer said the software the city is using now was purchased in 1999. The City was informed a year ago the software would no longer be supported as of December 2023.
“ sounds like a long time away, but it really isn’t, it’s right around the corner,” Speer said.
The City chose Tyler Technologies, a company which exclusively develops software for public organizations and is used by more than 27,000 around the US, Speer said.
The Council asked about what kinds of expanded services Tyler would provide to the residents of Lemoore.
Speer and Kyle Johnson from the company said they can accommodate many upgrades to the current system, including paperless utilities billing and payments integrated into the City’s own software. At this time, online payments are handled by a different company.
Speer said she couldn’t specify all the features the new system would allow, but was confident they would be greatly improved over the current software.
“What I can tell you is the functionality in the software was mind-blowing,” Speer said. “The software we have right now was probably great 22 years ago when we bought it, but technology has far outpaced it.”
Resident Tom Reed asked if implementing the new system would allow the City to reduce staff. Speer said many departments, especially her own, are operating with very low staff as is and will be able to work on more substantive projects when the software can take over.
The software will take two and a half years to implement, Speer said.
The Council unanimously approved the implementation of Tyler Technology software, as well as the assistance of Price Page and Company.
City Manager Nathan Olson said water restrictions resulting from an explosion at Well Site 7 were being lifted after the site got back up and running. The explosion killed a contractor, destroyed a 1.5 million gallon water tank and temporarily knocked out power to the site in mid-June.
The City banned watering of lawns, washing cars and rinsing concrete, as well as draining pools, while the site was being repaired in order to maintain water pressure throughout the city. As of Thursday morning, Olson said the site was running and those bans would be lifted.
Community members at the meeting also asked the City to do more about fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday.
Resident Paulette Bellamy said the firework activity was two to three times greater than in previous years. She said she’s concerned about the impact the fireworks have on the large military veteran community in Lemoore.
“I don't think people even consider them,” Bellamy said. “My son’s life has been destroyed by PTSD and that’s one of the reasons he won't come home, he won’t come here for Fourth of July or New Year's because of all the stuff that goes on with the fireworks.”
Olson said two fireworks-related fires had been reported over the weekend, both in trash receptacles where someone tried to throw away hot fireworks.
Resident Jennifer Solis and Bellamy suggested a large Fourth of July celebration might give residents something else to do during the holiday other than fire off illegal fireworks.