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City will work overtime on New Year's Eve

By By Sherry Digmon
Mayor Rodney Owens is planning a New Year's Eve gathering at city hall, but it won't exactly be a party.
"We're going to get our employees together to be prepared," Owens said. "We'll be sitting on go in case anything shuts down."
The mayor doesn't anticipate any problems when midnight strikes, but he plans to be on alert. Part of that preparation includes helping out the State Department of Trans-portation.
Owens said the city has been contacted by the Alabama DOT and asked to be prepared to man intersections in town.
"Even though we have been told the DOT is ready, we will have someone at each major intersection," Owens said.
Manning the intersections is a visible sign of preparedness, but internal preparations have been going on for some time in city hall, as well as in the county courthouse.
Atmore City Clerk Becca Smith began running tests on the city hall computers several months ago.
The software provider sent a checklist to test by, and all programs are compliant.
The hardware was purchased recently enough that it is compliant. The hardware in use prior to this purchase was not.
As with most businesses, personnel are dependent on computers, from payroll to the accounting system to simple bookkeeping.
"If the computers don't run, we don't have payroll," Smith said. "All money that comes through here goes through the computer system out front n business licenses, building permits, burial permits."
Smith said if worse came to worse, city hall personnel could keep ledgers by hand.
Atmore City Court Clerk Walter Faith is using a computer that's 10 years old. He has already started working in the year 2000 n without a glitch.
"Some of the [court] dates are set 90 days in advance," Faith said. "I've already run dockets for Jan. 10. I don't think I'm going to have any trouble. My computer is doing all I want it to do."
Faith did add money for a new computer into his budget, but doesn't plan to use it if his current computer is compliant. And if need be, he can always go back to a manual system.
"I don't foresee any problems," Faith said. "I have a manual system if I need it. I still have the manual system that was in place when I came here in 1989. The courts will keep on working."
County Administrator Tony Sanks doesn't expect any problems at the county courthouse.
"We've checked everything," he said. "All our computer programs are compliant."
The tax assessor, tax collector, probate judge and commission work off one computer system, Sanks said, making testing less difficult.
Still, he doesn't plan to stray far New Year's weekend.
"I'll be close by, if I'm not working," Sanks said. "I might go in to check things Saturday morning."