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story.lead_photo.caption Texarkana, Arkansas, City Hall and Municipal Building, 216 Walnut St., in April 2019. Photo by Gazette Staff / Texarkana Gazette.

TEXARKANA, Ark. — During a regular meeting Monday, the city Board of Directors will consider leasing court case management software to replace a system disabled by last December's ransomware attack on local government computers.

The software, called Virtual Justice, would go to the Texarkana Division of the Miller County District Court at a one-time cost of $10,800 for installation and staff training, plus $1,050 per month for the lease.

Court staff have been creating dockets by hand since the attack, "much like it did prior to the advent of computers," according to a summary prepared by District Judge Thomas A. Potter published with the meeting's agenda.

"While the ingenuity and creativity of the court staff is commendable, there are gaps through which cases, fines and fees will be lost. These gaps will be closed through a computerized court management system," it states.

Virtual Justice was designed specifically for Arkansas courts and is used by more than 180, including all other departments of the District Court.

The system damaged in the attack has been re-installed, but its vendor, Tyler Technologies, will not be able to provide hands-on training for how to use it until June.

"Attempts at working through the re-installation process by telephone have proved to be unsuccessful and frustrating," the summary states.

Texarkana Division staff used Virtual Justice before switching to the Tyler Technologies system and are familiar with it.

The Board will also take up purchasing backup generators for the Fire Department.

Four new generators would replace those in place at fire stations now. The generators to be replaced are more than 16 years old and have reached the end of their service lives.

The cost is just over $71,500, accounted for in the current city budget. TMR Generators of Hooks, Texas, was the low bidder to provide the generators, which will run on natural gas.

The Board will also vote by consent on approval of a contract to clean sludge ponds at the Millwood Water Treatment Plant.

Denali Water Solutions of Russellville, Arkansas, was low bidder for the project at $267,197. Texarkana, Arkansas, will pay more than $98,400 of the cost and Texarkana, Texas, the remainder.

The agenda includes a citizen communication time during which members of the public may address the Board on any topic for up to five minutes each.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 216 Walnut St. It will be streamed live on the city's YouTube channel.

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