Photo by Wendy Davis

Area Wide’s Michael Taber shows the county board IT committee information about onsite work.

Iroquois County will get IT help on a more regular basis.

At Thursday’s county board IT, and at the finance committee, meeting, IT matters were discussed.

One of the items approved was for a representative of Area Wide, the company which aids the county on technology matters, to be onsite once a week for two months beginning July 1. It’s set on a trial basis.

Area Wide’s Michael Taber has spoken to the committee about this for the past few months. He said since finance director Anita Speckman has left there are system updates which have been left undone. He said there’s a lot of things she was able to help with. Since then, “A lot of work has built up.” He said there’s a lot of work that is easier to be done onsite rather than remotely.

“Someone can be here to work on maintenance tasks which have gotten pushed under the rug.”

Currently, Area Wide bills the county at an hourly rate. Doing this would be a discounted fee, Taber said.

In 2017 there were 310 hours of support, 250 of those hours were done remotely. In 2018 there were 235 hours of support, 150 of those hours were done remotely. As of the middle of May this year there have been 91 hours of support, 70 of those hours were done remotely.

Taber said the price is the same whether the work is done onsite or remotely.

“Right now you have plenty of work needing to be done.” There’s updating network and security patches, to name a few.

The cost, he said, will be $560 for four visits a month. That’s 26 hours of onsite work a month, as travel time is taken into consideration of the eight-hour day. The Area Wide representative would be paid, basically, $17 an hour. The contract is monthly, and when the county decides it doesn’t want to continue it can be ended.

Having someone onsite on a regular basis will be better for everyone, he said. Area Wide would know when someone would need to be in Iroquois County and employees will know that, if they can wait, someone will be available onsite to help on a specific day.

The cost of the cyber liability insurance is $4,529 for $1 million in payout. The county wanted to know the cost of having more insurance.

Greg Steffen presented the numbers.

For $2 million it would cost the county $7,472 and for $3 million the cost would be $10,416. He noted that each department drives the cost of the premiums.

The information was also given to Taber to look into, as well.

This issue was tabled for further discussion at a future meeting.

Another matter tabled was discussion on a five-year plan on IT equipment.

Taber also told the board he’s still talking with people on changing the website.

Finally, he talked about email.

He said he’s working with Amanda Longfellow, finance manager, on what email addresses are being used by county representatives. Those inactive accounts will be purged from the system. He said there’s at least 15 mailboxes which have not been logged into in the last six months. He and Longfellow will also ask around to see who within the county board is using their county email address and who is using their personal email address, noting those who are using account outside of the county are still needing to abide by the statutes in place regarding transparency.

Eliminating the unused addresses will save the county money, Taber said.

He also pointed out the county could get additional email security in place for an additional $20 a month.

Also at the finance committee meeting, EMA Coordinator Eric Ceci said he’s about 75 percent through updating the Hazard Mitigation Plan.

He said he’d like to have a few more public meetings relating to it.

The goal is to have it done in August, he told the committee.

He also said the LEPC approved a bid of $9,240 for the commodity flow study.

Treasurer Kurt Albers told the group he’s working with banks on their offered interest rates.

The finance committee will examine what the limitations are on the solid waste fund, so that may be the monies could be used to clean up properties within the county.

Due to the holiday, the next finance committee meeting will be at 10 a.m., or immediately after, the July 5 transportation and highway committee meeting.