NAUGATUCK — The borough is looking for ways to consolidate information technology across departments and make the borough’s website more user friendly for residents.
The Board of Education has its own IT department, the Naugatuck Police Department contracts out for IT needs, and Town Hall does its IT in house.
Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said each entity is left to its own devices when trying to purchase and upgrade its equipment and services.
In the 2017-18 budget, the borough budgeted $284,786 for its IT department, the police department budgeted $158,841 for computer maintenance, and the Board of Education budgeted $202,650 for its IT department.
“We, the mayor, the burgesses, and the finance board, believe that we should somehow consolidate so we can have more buying power, leverage our purchases, and have a more unifying system,” Hess said.
Hess also wants to see all the departments on the same page when it comes to technology. He said the Board of Education is far more advanced than the rest of the borough when it comes to technology, and the municipal side has a long way to go to catch up.
“The borough has not yet entered the 21st century when it comes to computer technology,” Hess said.
Hess said he wants to reach the point where, similar to the Board of Education’s Board Docs website, all of the agendas and accompanying materials for commission and board meetings are online for residents to see before attending meetings.
Currently the agendas, but not related materials, are online for most boards and commissions.
Hess said he also wants to stream meetings live so residents can watch them on the borough’s website.
Technology upgrades would also allow for more documents to be stored online and be readily available to residents and business owners who need them, Hess said.
“We can eliminate a lot of paper and copying and have more things available on the computers,” Hess said.
Hess said the next step is for the borough to sit down with the Board of Education to discuss possible integration.
“At this time the town and Board of Education need to get together to make sure we are on the same page in what is the best manner to do this,” Hess said. “So then the town, the Board of Education, and the police department can somehow be operated in one department.”
Superintendent of Schools Sharon Locke said the borough and the school board have been collaborating and have had conversations through the IT Commission.