August 1, 2014

Elyria
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Price tag could grow by $1M for judges’ computer system

ELYRIA — A new computerized case management system that went online at the county Justice Center last year was supposed to save money and time, but now the system could end up costing the cash-strapped county up to $1 million extra.
The county’s judges are displeased enough with the progress of getting the system fully installed that Common Pleas Court Administrator Tim Lubbe has begun scheduling meetings with other computer companies to discuss replacing the $235,000 CourtTrack system designed by North Canton-based GBS Corp.
“Unfortunately, the court is to the point of interviewing other vendors for the possibility of entirely replacing GBS or supplementing GBS with other (software),” Lubbe said.
That could cost the county an additional $200,000 to $1 million, something Lorain County Administrator Jim Cordes said the county can’t afford.
GBS was hired in 2003 to custom build a new case management system, which was supposed to be up and running a year later. The deal saved the county about $400,000, according to Lorain County Clerk of Courts Ron Nabakowski, who is overseeing the project.
In exchange for lowering its rate, GBS got a system it could sell to other courts, something the company has already done in about five other Ohio counties.
“We’ve saved a lot of money, but we’ve paid for it with frustration,” Nabokowski said. However, he defended the delays in having a working system because it had to be built from scratch and to the county’s specifications.