CityLink Delayed

By: Whitney Holmes
By: Whitney Holmes

The city of Charlottesville has announced that it will delay the implementation of its new computer system, moving the 'go live' date from Febrary 1st to July 1st.

Called 'CityLink,' the system would replace all of the city's 160 systems. It would also improve customer service by allowing citizens to pay bills online and make online requests such as to fix a pothole.

The implementation cost is more than $6 million.

Project Manager Rick Fore said the reason for the delay is training.

"One of the things we found out when we did our research was that, as with any large implementation of something like this, the key is making sure everyone is properly trained and knows how to use a system."

However, opponents of the project like John Pfaltz, a research professor of Computer Science at UVA, said there are other reasons for the delay.

"Certainly one of the reasons is the fact that two project managers have left the project and that sends everything into a tailspin."

Pfaltz also said the system is too complex for a city of Charlottesville's size. He said the system was meant for cities such as New York City or Chicago.

Fore said the system is actually meant for cities that generate more than $100 million, which Charlottesville does.

Jim Moore, a consultant for municipal systems, said this delay is costing the city money. The project manager countered this claim by saying the system is being rented at a fixed rate. He said they have one chance to get the system up and running right, and they need the extra time to do so.

The city's computer system is almost 25 years old.

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