CAIRO — Prices on customers’ utility bills will not be affected by the Cairo City Council’s decision to switch to a different billing software, according to City Manager Chris Addleton.

City council members have approved a $110,600 contract to convert to a different utility billing software.

Addleton said the bills that customers see will retain the same format as before.

The conversion process is expected to take about one year to implement.

“It’s a huge undertaking,” Addleton said. “It’s a big deal.”

Thomasville city officials announced earlier this year that they will be moving away from the UBILL utility software that the City of Cairo has utilized since 2009. The UBILL system is managed by the City of Thomasville.

The switch in Thomasville means that Cairo and fellow CNS cities Camilla and Moultrie have to find a replacement for utility billing prior to December 2020.

“You never want to do a conversion if you don’t have to,” Addleton told the city council. “Unfortunately, we have to.”

A software search committee was formed in July consisting of Addleton and several other key city personnel. The committee returned with three proposals, with Tyler Technologies holding the low bid.

City council members voted unanimously to award the contract to Tyler.

Addleton said Tyler also offers opportunities to automate several time-consuming processes that city staff currently does manually. Automation of those tasks will improve accuracy and productivity, the city manager said.

Funds for the purchase will partially come from the fiscal year 2020 electric administration budget. The remaining portion of the purchase will be budgeted into the FY 2021 budget.

Aside from the software conversion fee, Tyler will charge the city $71,670 annually for maintenance, support and hosting. Currently, Cairo pays the City of Thomasville $72,000 annually for maintenance and support.

Cairo had converted to UBILL in January 2009 as part of the CNS telephone system rollout.

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