Cape Girardeau County will likely spend at least $200,000 on a huge technology upgrade.
Information systems director Eric McGowen recommended at Thursday's county commission meeting that three software companies be invited to the county to demonstrate their systems.
A major software upgrade has been discussed for several years inside the county administrative building. Many of the departments still use outdated paper systems. There is also a lot of data duplication among several of the county's departments, county officials say.
Last Monday, the county accepted eight bids from various companies, ranging from $211,836 to $477,099. McGowen told the commission that he favored the three least-expensive providers. He said that he didn't think the extra technology benefits offered in the higher bids justified the difference in cost.
The three companies that will be called in are Incode ($211,836), ACS ($212,064) and GEMS ($288,370). The costs were five-year costs of each application.
"The next step will be to call references," McGowen said. "And then set up a presentation so the department heads can see it since they're the people who will use the software."
The county originally estimated that the overhaul would cost roughly $350,000.
Officials say the technology will allow the county offices to keep up with the county's growth without having to add on more payroll.