Clayton Town Council passed a motion 4-1 Monday night to pay for an offsite back-up system for the town computers.

Mayor Tom Horn said the town doesn't ask for money halfway through the year but council was recently made aware of an issue town staff is having backing up the new computers.

"The numbers are kind of scary but it's not as scary as losing everything," Horn said.

The total cost to use the computer company – BDK, Inc. out of Maryland – is $5,450, which includes a $3,200 set up fee.

Office Manager Sue Muncey said staff doesn't have the capability to back up the entire system with their new computers.

"The computers are supposed to be set up to the server to be more efficient," Muncey said.

However, Muncey said the process of backing up the new computers is resulting in the staff losing half the memory of the computers because they have to downgrade everything.

"What's the purpose of having new computers then," Muncey said.

Councilman Dave Letterman said he hadn't heard anything about the issue until then so he would vote no if council voted on a motion.

Town Foreman Jeff Hurlock said typically he doesn't come to council for money in the middle of the year, but the system isn't working properly.

To pay for the offsite back-up system, Muncey said she could move some things around in the budget. Horn said the town already has $3,241 in a line item for computers, some council members don't take pay, and there's money in the building improvement fund.

Councilwoman Mary Ellen DeBenedictis said she was in total agreement with purchasing the offsite back-up system.

"The budget is a guideline," DeBenedictis said. "Council can move money to cover it. I'm in total agreement. That is something I don't want to see lost."

Voting committee formed

Council formed a four-member committee now charged with investigating the benefit of extending voting hours. The recommendation came from resident Howard Blackstone in response to this year's election. Election voting hours are currently from 2 to 7 p.m. the day of the election.

Councilman Alex Dias and Horn will join Blackstone and resident Al Hill as the members of the committee. Horn told Blackstone to let town staff know when he wants to schedule the first meeting, and noted there are FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] requirements when scheduling meetings.

Committee members needed

Council tabled appointing members for the Board of Adjustment, Planning & Zoning, and Appeals Board until the August meeting.

Council was supposed to appoint the committees Monday night, but Horn asked to freeze appointing members because he thought members were limited to the length of time they can be on the committee.

Letterman said there isn't an actual limit and committee members can be reappointed at the end of their term. He also pointed out that residents with a background in the area of the committee would be helpful.

Residents interested in joining one of the three committees should contact town staff.

Approval of 2012 audit tabled

Council didn't vote on the 2012 financial statement review due to some recommendations to be made by the auditor. Horn said the accountant would email the recommendations; council will bring the review back up at the August council meeting.

Business license process to change

Hurlock expressed interest to council with changing the process for granting business licenses.

Hurlock said the topic of granting licenses once proper documentation is received has been discussed in the past. Hurlock wants business licenses to be granted once town staff receive all the proper documentation. Currently, town council approves licenses for new businesses.

"If a business meets all the qualifications, why bring it before council. That's how most municipalities do it," Hurlock said. "It doesn't need to go to council. Unfortunately that's not something I can do, it has to be amended in the ordinance."

Council passed a motion allowing for Hurlock to work with town lawyer Scott Chambers on the ordinance.

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