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Heath Springs to replace its computers

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Town moves elections to November

By Michele Roberts

Michele Roberts
For The Lancaster News
Technologically speaking, the town of Heath Springs is moving on up.
At the Oct. 15 town council meeting, the council reviewed quotes to replace the town’s current computer system, which Town Administrator Tony Starnes said has become a vital necessity.
“Our financial software no longer has technical support,” he said.
“Emails take so long to open that sometimes you aren’t sure they’re going to open at all.
“And we have found out that our backup isn’t backing up like it should be, and we aren’t sure how long this has been going on,” Starnes said.
“If we don’t replace this system, we could lose valuable data,” he said.
Council reviewed quotes from ProfIT/CS, LLC from Charlotte, N.C. Starnes said this is the same company that installed Kershaw’s new computer system, and he contacted ProfIT/CS for a quote on the town of Kershaw’s recommendation.
“They are really, really satisfied with what’s been done down there,” Starnes told council. “And back when they got struck by lightning in the summer, their computers were back up and running within 48 hours. They didn’t even have the phones back yet, but the computers were back online.”
Scott Whaley, who addressed council on behalf of ProfIT/CS, said based on the company’s assessment, the need for a new computer system has reached a critical level.
“Even if you don’t use us, you need to use somebody,” he said. “The situation you’re looking at has become that critical. And these computers would last you a good long time, and include a five-year warranty, which goes well beyond the one-year warranty most places offer on computers.”
Council reviewed three different quotes by the company – one for labor and installation, one for the equipment and one for a monthly maintenance plan with ProfIT/CS, with all three quotes totaling about $7,400.
After about 20 minutes of open discussion, Councilman Eddie Moore made a motion to buy the equipment as quoted.
“If the computers crash, we’re going to lose all of our information,” he said. “It’s just the time that we’re living in, so I feel that we need to go ahead and purchase the system.”
The motion passed 4-1, with Mayor Ann Taylor voting against it.
“I just think we should look at other options first,” she said. “I think this is sort of a big decision to make on such short discussion.”
Town elections moved to November
The council unanimously approved moving the town’s elections from July to November.
“This is something that the (S.C.) Municipal Association is really in favor of,” Starnes said. “They think there is a better turnout in November and this would also allow us to get away from paper ballots and use the voting machines that will already be here.”
Elected council members will have to extend their terms by four months to accommodate the  change, which is expected to save the town money on poll workers and paper ballot costs.
The town of Kershaw is considering changing its election from March to November as well.
Council also unanimously approved a request by Clay Catoe, director of Lancaster County EMS, to house a newly acquired ambulance in the bay behind Heath Springs Town Hall to keep it out of the elements and be readily available to the south end of the county.