Town Administrator Jonathan Butler said Town Hall needs a new phone system because the old one is failing and obsolete.
ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen approved all budget items on the list Tuesday night, which included a new phone system for Town Hall.
Although most of the items came in level budgeted for the fiscal 2015 budget session, there were capital increases in the technology budget that included a new phone system that would replace Town Hall’s outdated system.
"Our phone system in Town Hall is exceptionally antiquated when compared to modern office spaces," Town Administrator Jonathan Butler said. "It was antiquated when I started five years ago and hasn't been replaced so this is long overdue."
The replacement system will cost $17,000. This purchases the phones and the new voicemail server.
Butler said the working phone system now is notorious for not working and being confusing to callers.
"We do have an actual problem with the interface the general public uses, and when they call in there are a lot of anomalies that happen with our system," Butler said. "It’s not very clear how to get to each office because we don’t have a very good phone banking system.”
Another issue facing the old system is the availability of phones. Because the system is so old, phones that work with it have been discontinued.
Town Accountant Mary Beverly added that when a phone breaks another one has to be borrowed from another office, leaving many offices without phones. She explained that any phones they do buy don’t work well on the system.
"When we do buy a new phone it kind of works but it never does what it’s supposed to do," she said. "If we don’t get a new phone system we will be out of phones soon."
Butler said the new phone system would allow a much more efficient phone banking system that would allow callers to find the office they are looking for much easier with less call transferring.
"This investment will allow us to do some substantial enhancements not only in terms of the technology that we will have to use, but in terms of the organization, and the staff time that is put towards inquiries from the general public," Butler said.
Officials reviewed other line items, including the Department of Public Works and police, on March 18. The town expects to see an overall budget increase of 1.58 percent for fiscal 2015, up to $13,962,082.
The next budget meeting is Monday, March 31, at 6 p.m. when the McCann and Adams-Cheshire regional school districts will present their budgets.