The Knox City Council members amended their meeting agenda to include a proposal for enhancements to IT infrastructure, when they met last Wednesday.
Mayor Dennis Estok informed council members that the City of Knox is not currently equipped with any “off-site backup”, which is a state-mandated requirement. He said that means that all city documentation, emails and additional information would be unsaved if their main system was to experience any major problems.
Mayor Estok explained that the company Apheus has been doing IT work for the city on an “as-needed basis” for a few years but city officials are now looking to enter into an agreement with the Plymouth-based tech company to make sure the system is entirely compliant with state statute, for city website design and maintenance and to provide remote and on-site tech-support which includes monthly, in person tech check-ups.
When Council President Don Kring asked who else the company has worked for, Estok added that they did website and tech work for the towns of Bourbon and Argos. Mayor Estok said that when he asked for honest feedback, municipality officials reported feeling satisfied with the work that Apheus has done.
The mayor laid out the cost of the proposal, stating that the initial start-up cost which includes installation and equipment will be $16,684. Once everything is up-and-running, there will be an additional monthly charge of $1,196, resulting in approximately $14,000 annually. Estok added that it will cost less than $14,000 this year, since the installation will take a few months and the city will not be charged until it is completed.
Though all city council members agreed that implementing the state-required back-up security and having continuous tech-support is essential, Councilman Ron Parker was curious to know which funds would be utilized pay for the services. Mayor Estok said that there were various accounts where unused 2017 funds could be transferred into the CEDIT account.
Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston mentioned that if needed, money could come out of the general fund. Houston also said that regardless of the company they go with, technology upgrades are required so they’ll have to make this decision at some point.
Council members unanimously approved the proposal to utilize the company Apheus for IT infrastructure enhancements. Mayor Estok also told members that once the year-contract is up, it can be negotiated. At that point they can establish which services are unneeded and make adjustments accordingly.