Pair of large projects discussed by county

A pair of large-scale projects were touched on at the Piatt County board’s building and grounds committee meeting Aug. 1, including a technology upgrade that would eventually consolidate the county’s 16 file servers into two larger, state-of-the-art machines.

The committee also received a short update on the possibility of expanding the dementia care wing at the county nursing home

The internet committee had referred the technology update to the building and grounds group, with financing being the key since the server project would cost about $64,000. If software updates and installation of a new email system are included in the initial phase, the cost will be closer to $130,000.

Despite the price tag, the building and grounds committee on Aug. 1 felt it was a project that was needed sooner rather than later, especially since at least four of the current file servers are up for replacement, which would cost about $32,000 in itself.

Committee Chairman Randy Shumard said most departments have technology budgets, and that if some of those dollars are pooled it could be a start towards paying for the project.

“If we can kind of take that revenue that each entity has in their finances available in the August budget meetings, we can get a general idea of money we will have,” he said.

County Board Chairman Al Manint agreed the effort will depend on what comes out of budget meetings this month, which will map out the fiscal year that begins Dec. 1.

“We all understand how critical this is to get this process moving forward, to at least get the servers online,” he said. “Once we get through the budget processes in August we will have a good understanding of where we’re at.”

The technology upgrade was tabled by the committee until after initial budget meetings are held, and will be considered again at its Sept. 5 meeting.

Piatt County Nursing Home Executive Director Scott Porter updated the committee on possible expansion of the Halcyon dementia care wing of the facility. An interested party has said he would be willing to help fund and partially build it to expand the space, which gets crowded once walkers and wheelchairs are in the hallways and activity areas.

Porter noted no decision has been made, but that he is gathering preliminary information.

“I’m having a meeting with some counterparts at Leading Age, which is the group of non-profit nursing homes and long term care facilities who have done projects like this, to try to get more of the groundwork about what the steps are,” he said.

He added that, if it proceeds, it would likely be at least a two-year project “just because of how the state works for approvals, but I will have all of that (information) hopefully by the middle of September.”

In other action, the committee:

–decided to solicit bids for snow removal at the public safety building (jail), with intentions of continuing to remove snow from the nursing home, Maple Point and the office building with county personnel and equipment;

–heard there was just one bid of $5,300 for a small roof repair job at the nursing home; and

–formally approved a plan that will allow the parking lot at the nursing home/office building to be resurfaced on weekends only, which adds $2,000 to the cost and eases the inconvenience to visitors and delivery trucks.



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