DeKalb spends $5M on software to help fix inaccurate water bills

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted 7-0 on Tuesday to award a nearly $5 million contract for water billing software to Vermont-based Systems & Software Inc. MARK NIESSE / MARK.NIESSE@AJC.COM

The DeKalb Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to spend nearly $5 million to replace the county's water billing computer system, a move meant to reduce widespread billing errors.

The new billing software will help customer service representatives isolate problems, analyze data and eliminate miscalculations, said John Matelski, the county's chief information officer.

Updated billing software is one of several investments the county is making in an effort to ensure water billing accuracy. The county also plans to begin replacing 102,000 water meters later this year, but that contract hasn't yet been awarded.

Residents shouldn’t expect the billing software to solve the county’s billing problems, but it should help, said Commissioner Nancy Jester.

“We have operational issues, software glitches, human error and all kinds of flavors of different problems,” said Jester, chairwoman of the Budget Committee. “This is a step in the right direction.”

Commissioners awarded the $4,965,568 contract to Systems & Software Inc., based in Williston, Vt. The county gave the company the highest score among seven businesses that sought the contract.

The software will replace a system from Cpak Corp. that the county has been using for 14 years.

Unlike the county’s current billing system, the Systems & Software software will be able to more thoroughly analyze water consumption data and flag irregularities, Matelski said. He hopes to have the software installed by the end of 2018.

“It will give us the tools and analytics to monitor amounts for abnormalities and deviations,” he said.

They hope they are getting closer to getting answers about high water bills.


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