The City Council brushed aside criticism that the city administration's plans to revamp its computer system will cost more than budgeted and won't work well and unanimously approved buying $740,000 worth of new equipment and software.
The plans are intended to relieve a logjam that is slowing operations and leading to complaints by city officials who have taken to computers with increasing enthusiasm since the city created the Information Systems Department in 1981 and installed the forerunner of the present system.
Figures presented to the council showed that the city has reached what Information Systems Director Gerry Boutwell termed the "saturation phase" of the current system.
Between October, 1983, and October, 1986, the number of computer users in city government shot up to 227 from 43. In September, 1984, the number of requests to use the system was 42,828; in October, 1986, the number was 190,771. The system's main processing units are being used 99% of the time during working hours. In July, 1985, usage was 72%.