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Housing authority to update financial software

The Lycoming Housing Authority voted Thursday to spend about $50,000 to upgrade its 20-year-old software.

The authority is slated to use Horizon Data Systems to keep track of rent, receivables, consumable inventory, work orders and finance, among other things, said MariLyn Severson, executive director.

“We wanted to save costs and we stuck with the same software for all this time and then finally decided, you know what, it’s time to get it updated,” she said.

The data systems company has a good track record of working well with housing authorities, switching one type of data to another and also works with the modules Lycoming housing currently runs, said Severson, who rated them with a score of 92 out of 100.

“I have to say that they’re the most economical,” she said. “They were $9,000 less than the second proposal. They also exceeded our expectations as far as price went.”

She and some of her staff did a training with Horizon and listened to a presentation meant to teach them about the different modules the system offers.

The cost includes a one time date conversion, training and installation cost of $39,000, not to exceed $39,999.

“We’re going to have this one-time gulp we’re going to have to swallow to get through the conversion and training,” she said.

Thereafter, the yearly licensing and subscription cost is $19,775.

The first-time cost was initially slated to be lower, but Severson said the company wanted “Wiggle room,” to cover their costs if the projected turned out to be more time consuming.

“They don’t know what they’re going to get into,” she said. “So they can come in here and try to convert the data, and have all kinds of problems that can take more time.”

The company is expected to arrive next week to begin the transfer, said Severson.

In other business, the authority approved $1,321 in charge-offs or accounts deemed unpayable for February.

“The large charge off this month was a young woman who had a resident-caused flooding situation and her unit,” said Severson. “She actually declined signing a repayment agreement for the damage in the unit and ended up moving out.”

February charge-offs represent 1.3 percent of rent receipts for the month.

For 2020, there has been $3,672 in charge-offs, which is 1.45 percent of the authority’s total rent receipts.

The next Lycoming Housing Authority meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. March 26 in the housing office, 1941 Lincoln Dr.

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