Crow Wing County Land Services Director Gary Griffin believes the county can do better.
He recommended at the Tuesday, Dec. 11, meeting of the board of commissioners purchasing new software from Tyler Technologies.
"We believe that with this enhancement this will, if you will, be another great advancement for that recording area of Crow Wing County," Griffin said.
The county uses recorder software by TriMin Systems, which does not work with Tyler's iasWorld tax and computer-assisted mass appraisal software it also uses, according to Griffin.
"We've always wanted to have a fully integrated software solution for the county, and so ownership and recording of deeds is ... the very front end of the process and sending a tax statement would be the very end," Griffin said.
"If we can have these fully integrated ... it will be one of many benefits."
Tyler Eagle Recorder software will also improve the accuracy of public records, improve staff efficiency and provide better customer service with improved searching capabilities, auto indexing and reporting/querying capabilities, according to Griffin.
Tyler Technologies hosts all of the data and software, eliminating information technology staff time troubleshooting issues with different software and servers trying to communicate with each other. The total cost of the contract for the first year is $143,486, with a $68,586 annual maintenance fee.
"This annual maintenance includes an auto-indexing and fraud guard module, which is not included in our current software," Griffin said at the Nov. 20 committee of the whole meeting.
"This will be solely paid for from the recorder's tech fund, so the money that we get for recording a document basically self-sustains the support of its software."
TriMin's search options for finding documents or certificates of title were "very limited," and the software-used by the county since the 1990s-was "cumbersome for staff to work with," according to Griffin.
"Mr. Chair, I would also point out that the cost of our existing recording software is not free ... but this is part of the capital plan that is essentially on your agenda today," County Administrator Tim Houle told Commissioner Paul Thiede.
Last year, a total of 90,170 pages were scanned by land services, of which about 70,000 pages were manually scanned, for example, and staff now spends about 10 minutes a day updating their work progress reports, but the new software can customize and create time-saving reports.
"The implementation of the Eagle Recorder software would eliminate the need for staff to maintain daily work progress reports, thereby creating a savings of approximately 251 hours or 31 business days, which will ... enabling staff to focus on other projects," Griffin wrote.
Commissioner Paul Koering then made the motion to enter into a contract between the county and Tyler Technologies for the new software and maintenance, effective Jan. 1. Commissioner Rosemary Franzen seconded the motion, and it was passed unanimously.
In other business news, the county board:
Approved the hiring of Theresa Sweeney and Kimberly Tophen, community services financial workers; Steven Hanson, land services property assessor-in-training; and Earl Nowacki, administrative services business intelligence analyst.
Supported the exempt gambling permits for the Brainerd Jaycees on Jan. 26 at Hole-in-the-Day Bay, Unorganized Territory, and the Garrison Wildlife Chapter of Ducks Unlimited on Feb. 16 on the ice on Mille Lacs Lake.
Authorized entering into an amended and restated joint powers agreement between the county and Minnesota Counties Computer Cooperative for the establishment, operation and maintenance of data processing facilities, software and other information management systems.
Approved final payment for the total contract amount of $150,683.11 to Traffic Marking Services for pavement markings and the total contract amount of $3,222,616.80 to Anderson Brothers Construction Co. for bituminous surfacing.
Authorized entering into a contract renewal amendment No. 9 between the county and Heartland Animal Rescue Team for impound service for dangerous dogs in the county and in the unorganized territories, effective Jan. 1.
Authorized entering into an agreement between the University of Minnesota and the county for providing Extension programs locally and employing Extension Staff, effective Jan. 1.
Approved applications for 2019 tobacco license renewal and the new tobacco license application of DG Retail LLC, doing business as "Dollar General Store" in Deerwood.
Authorized the solid waste coordinator to seek bids from contractors for liner, cover, excavation, electric and controls services at the county landfill.
Approved the granting of an easement for 33 feet to Dan Miller across county tax-forfeited land to access his property in Fifty Lakes.
Approved a budget amendment increase of $10,325 to the tax-forfeited budget to purchase a 2009 Tahoe from the sheriff's office to replace a 2006 Chevy Silverado that will be sold at auction.
Authorized entering into a contract for legal services of a court-appointed attorney with Andrew Wipper for $60,000 per year for Child in Need of Protective Services, Permanency and Termination of Parental Rights, and Child Support Contempt cases, effective Jan. 1.
Re-appointed John Wallin to the committees of extension with a term expiring Dec. 31, 2021; Rex Roach to the Central Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Region Advisory Committee with a term expiring Dec. 31, 2020; and Tom Haglin to the Personnel Board of Appeals with a term expiring Dec. 31, 2021.