County Computers Back On-line

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Douglas County is back online after a computer crash interrupted business on Monday.

DOT-Comm, the county's computer agency, was not initially sure what caused one of its mainframes to go down around 9 a.m. but the effects were clear in offices and branches all over Douglas County.

Officials say this couldn't have happened at a worse time. It's not just the end of the month but property tax payments were also due Monday.

The Treasurer's offices were already filling up when its computer system crashed. People coming to pay their real estate or vehicle taxes could not.

Treasurer Julie Haney says, "It was a very, very unfortunate thing. But when the county mainframe goes down, it takes everybody down. A lot of other offices went down but the treasurer's office is full of people.''

Haney says people were understandably upset but most, like Howard Campbell, took it in stride.

Campbell says, "It's a bit of a bother but oh, well. Things like that happen."

The system was back in operation by Monday afternoon. Haney says she suspects that a major update done over the weekend on a court computer system triggered the crash but DOT-Comm chief Vic Stannish says they need to find out for sure.

Stannish says, "We'll do a complete root cause investigation to find out exactly why it happened, and more importantly, how we can prevent it from happening again."

Haney says, "We have asked DOT-Comm repeatedly do not put in new programs in the last week of March and July because of real estate season."

Stannish says DOT-Comm will honor that request in light of what happened Monday regardless of the cause.

As for the people who tried to pay their taxes and couldn't, they'll get one more day.

Haney says, "They were also issued a letter saying if they come in tomorrow they will not have interest added on."

It's a one-day reprieve so people who had taxes due Monday but couldn't pay because of the computer problem have until Tuesday to pay up.

DOT-Comm is working with IBM to figure out what caused the crash. They hope to have an answer by the end of the week.


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