Local News

March 9, 2010

City in need of a tech tune-up

OSKALOOSA — It’s just about time for an update.

The computer technology used by Oskaloosa city employees isn’t exactly where it needs to be, according to City Manager Michael Schrock Jr. He said not all of the city’s computers are networked and could use a better file backup system.

In the event of a fire or other disaster, keeping paperwork backed up somewhere else could prove critical, said Schrock. He also said there is a need for interdepartmental communication.

“This city is sorely lacking in a lot of areas when it comes to technology such as computers, telephones — how we connect and talk as an organization,” he said.

Oskaloosa Public Library Director Suzann Holland said the way in which each city department currently backs up its files is different. She added there is a disaster plan in place, but an updated backup method is needed.

Oskaloosa Public Works Director Akhilesh Pal said within his department some things are up to date, while others are not. He added, sharing files over a network and having more files backed up electronically would be beneficial.

“Right now some of our plans and things are paper only,” said Pal, who also noted sending and receiving e-mails at his office can be a challenge sometimes because of the older technology they presently work with.

Part of the city’s recently approved fiscal year budget includes spending up to $100,000 for computer technology improvements. However, Schrock said he doesn’t think it will take this much money to get the city’s computers up to par, saying this amount was chosen “just in case.” Schrock also noted that this expenditure, which will come up as a “general equipment” one, will come from a fund that totals more than $300,000, but has not had a detailed plan for how to spend it.

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