Vast county centralizes online

Leaders of a sprawling, 18,000-square-mile county in Nevada have turned

to online software to offer the county government and its residents better

service.

Nye County, Nev., the third largest county in America, is standardizing

its business systems and services with the help of online solutions from

HTE Inc., something that will provide the county government with its first-ever

integrated financial reports from its four agencies.

The move to online services also will enable the Nevada county to provide

a much better level of service to its residents, according to Joni Eastley,

vice chairwoman of the county government's board of commissioners. People

now have to travel as much as four hours across the region to do business

with the government.

"There are still some areas in the county where people don't have adequate

sewage and running water, let alone telecommunications," Eastley said. "It's

a vast geographic area, so if we can't get the people to the services, we

figured we needed a way to get the services to the people."

Eastley's eventual goal is to get as many towns as possible throughout

the county to buy their own suites of HTE software and then set up local

offices that can mirror services that the central government provides.

Instead of driving 200 miles to a government office, a person would

only have to drive to a local town office and use a terminal there to access

the appropriate service, such as county job applications and building permits.

Town officials also would be able to compare their own finances and

budgets, which they would put together with HTE software, with what the

county and other towns are reporting, Eastley said.

Florida-based HTE specializes in providing IT solutions to governments

and utilities as well as offering e-government access to citizens and businesses.

It has about 2,200 customers nationwide.

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached

at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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