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With payroll online, city employees should get paid on time
City Hall ransomware attack

With payroll online, city employees should get paid on time

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RACINE — The city’s payroll system is back online, so city employees should receive their pay on time on Friday.

A ransomware virus has crippled the City of Racine’s internal online networks since at least Jan. 31, disrupting multiple computer systems.

The city’s website went back online last week but email and online bill payment systems are still not working.

City meetings scheduled for this week were canceled, including Finance and Personnel, Public Safety and Licensing and Public Works and Services committees.

City spokesman Shannon Powell said on Wednesday that city staff is running payroll so there should be no disruption to the bi-weekly pay day.

As the situation enters week two its effects are creeping into other sectors, such as real estate.

Ongoing inconvenience

City Clerk Tara Coolidge said her staff still does not have access to current property tax bills, so they cannot tell real estate agents if a property has any outstanding payments or street assessments.

“We don’t have the ability to complete tax searches because all our systems aren’t up and running,” Coolidge said.

Her office is still able to collect property tax payments if the property owner knows what they owe and can pay with a check or cash. If they need staff to look up what’s owed, they are incapable of doing so.

Coolidge said while outstanding property tax information is not required for a sale to be completed, many buyers want that before closing.

City Assessor Bill Bowers said his office often provides a property’s current assessed value and previous year’s assessed value before a closing. While his department doesn’t have access to that information digitally, they can do a manual search.

“Its not as efficient as before,” said Bowers.

Powell estimated everything should be back online within a week, but that timeline is very tentative.

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Reporter

Christina Lieffring covers the City of Racine and the City of Burlington and is a not-bad photographer. In her spare time she tries to keep her plants and guinea pigs alive and happy.

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