FARMINGTON — At the Nov. 9 selectmen meeting, no action was taken on treasurer LucyAnn Cook’s proposal to use Bangor Savings Bank timekeeping and accrual software for payroll processing.

The program could save the town time and money, Cook said. She and Town Manager Christian Waller participated in a Zoom meeting with bank officials on what the program could do for the town.

The fire department could use it for their volunteers, per diem people, Cook said. “TD Hardy said it takes him eight hours to do the schedule,” she said. Based on that, she asked each of the department heads how much time they spend.

Public works spends three to four hours per payroll plus $200 annually for time clock maintenance and time cards, Director Philip Hutchins noted. Police Deputy Chief Shane Cote spends four to six hours while other departments spend about an hour, based on emails sent to Cook.

She currently gets the information manually, writes it down, adds it up before turning it in, then has to go through it a couple of times afterwards.

“It would be much more accurate,” Cook said. An app on employee’s phones could be used rather than a time clock, she noted.

There would be a one time setup fee of $1,525 then $7,956 annually —  $663 per month based on 106 employees, Cook said. She estimated the annual cost for the system used is currently $16,774.

“We would be very accurate, very transparent, have more control,” she said. Her schedule would stay the same every month.

“Overall it streamlines the process quite a bit, frees up time for department heads,” Waller said.

Text messages could be sent rather than calling individuals to check on their availability and makes reporting much more efficient, Cook said. She only checked on the Bangor Savings Bank program as the town has been working with that bank for years.

“I like the closeness of having it local,” she said. “They have proven their mettle time and time again, are quite responsive and very professional.”

A request for proposal could be sent out, Waller noted.

When asked, Cook said she hadn’t contacted other communities who use the program. She also hadn’t determined if the contract would be annual or multi-year.

“Where we are spending so much money, it should go out to bid,” Selectman Chairman Matthew Smith said. “There’s no doubt we definitely need to upgrade our system.”

The issue will be put on the upcoming agenda once answers are obtained, he said.

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