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Heath Springs to adopt new computer system

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Program will simplify court record keeping

By Jesef Williams

HEATH SPRINGS  – It appears the town of Heath Springs is adopting a simpler and more efficient method of keeping its court records.

Johnny Steele, the town’s judge, spoke at Town Council’s meeting Tuesday, Feb. 19, to further explain his request for a computer program called LawTrack. It’s provided by the company Nicholson Business Systems of Florence.

LawTrack allows users to easily input, maintain and sort through data related to law enforcement and judicial records. The system keeps track of charges, fines, payments and court dates, among other information.

Right now, the town’s clerk has does all of that manually.

“The computer system does this with the push of a button,” Steele said.

On Tuesday, Heath Springs Town Council voted 4-0 to buy the system, under the condition that the municipality won’t be obligated to sign a contract beyond a year at a time.

Councilman Ted Sowell was absent.

“I’m a believer in records. It supports detail,” said Steele, who became the town’s judge late last year.

“It also will free up time for your clerk to do other things,” he said. “It eliminates human error.”

Steele, who also serves as judge for the town of Fort Lawn, said LawTrack has improved efficiency there.

He said there will be a $2,000 implementation fee along with a $200 monthly charge. As part of the fee, Nicholson Business Systems will provide free training for three days and will also host periodic seminars that Heath Springs town officials can attend.

Mayor Ann Taylor said the system will be paid for through court-related revenue, such as traffic fines.

Paying for the system apparently won’t be a burden. 

Over the last four months, court-related revenue has more than doubled, according to data provided to council by Steele on Tuesday.

In February alone, the town has taken in $2,500 in such revenue, compared to a monthly average of $538 for August, September and October.

“I feel like we got a grasp on this now,” said Councilman Mark Bridges said. “It’s helping me a lot. I’d just like to know about the contract terms.”

Council members mentioned the possibility of calling a special meeting after Steele has presented them with more information on Nicholson Business Systems’ contract options.

 

 Contact reporter Jesef Williams at (803) 283-1152