The Starke County Commissioners this week received an update on county radio tower repairs from IT Director Joe Short, who explained that the county’s insurance claim of $13,165.84 for damages from the storms in June and July has not yet been paid. He said they’ve already performed repairs on antennas near Washington Township, Bass Lake, and Koontz Lake, but a vendor was unable to perform repairs on a unit in San Pierre. Short said that unit was ultimately replaced.
Short went on to explain that he recently ordered a new MDS unit for San Pierre, and everything else has been repaired except for the Sheriff’s Department’s radio tower that was damaged in July. The commissioners approved a motion to sign a claim for the $1000 deductible to allow insurance to cover the $13,165.84 claim.
Short also mentioned that the county may want to invest in a new email server for employees. He said the current server is outdated and has outgrown the capacity for which it was originally implemented, and the county-wide email server should be upgraded in the near future. Short said he had to implement quotas to force users to delete old emails to cut down on storage space used in the system.
As a result, Short said he looked into quotes for installation of an Exchange server – a server which, Short said, is the industry standard for email servers. After receiving a very pricey quote of $60,000 for that server, Short said he began working with vendors in an effort to get government prices, and managed to cut that quote down to a one-time cost of $10,000 to implement a server with a maximum of 140 users. With 126 email addresses already in use, the commissioners were uneasy with such a small amount of leeway, but Short assured them that it would only cost $60 per new additional user as a one-time cost.
The company doing the server installation would handle porting over old emails to ensure county employees did not lose any valuable information, and Short said his budget would cover the cost of the new system.
The commissioners made a motion approving Short’s request to implement a new mail server for the county at an estimated cost of $10,997.