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Mainframe system eyed

October 21, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Four Franklin County offices will be served by the same mainframe computer system, which could eventually be accessed by the public.

The county commissioners received and opened one bid Tuesday on an IBM AS400 mainframe computer that would be the heart of the system, Commissioner Cheryl Plummer said. With various options, the system ranged from $105,000 to $109,000 a year with annual costs of $5,200 to $6,000.

Plummer said the board will decide on Thursday whether to award or reject the bid from SCS Inc. of Montoursville, Pa.

The system would serve the sheriff, prothonotary, clerk of courts and register and recorder's offices, Plummer said. The system would also require software, rewiring the offices, computer terminals and training.

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Chief Clerk John Hart estimated the cost of the entire system at $350,000.

"We feel record generation, record retention and storage are areas where we can improve constituent services," Plummer said.

"The new system can generate the same things we're now doing manually," Clerk of Courts William Vandrew said. The software from Infocon of Ebensburg, Pa., will be able to generate subpoenas and warrants, certify driver's license suspensions to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and other tasks, he said.

"The idea is to eventually put the information I have, or that Linda Beard has in the prothonotary's office, into the hands of the district attorney, or into the judge's chambers" rather than shuffling records from office to office, Vandrew said.

He said the record is used by a variety of offices in 37 Pennsylvania counties.

Hart said what system the county courts will use hasn't been determined, but it should be compatible with what the other offices are getting.

"One of the goals is to provide information online to the public. This isn't Internet access. It's online for a fee," Hart said of the system. That would allow attorneys, real estate abstracters and other businesses to get information without having to send an employee to the courthouse from Mercersburg, Pa., Waynesboro, Pa., or elsewhere.

Plummer said she could not estimate when the entire system will be installed and operating.

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