HOLLIDAYSBURG – Blair County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a four-year deal with a state college company to maintain the county’s IT services, including those at the Altoona 911 center and the courthouse.
The cost will rise to nearly $ 2 million, with the agreement covering January 1, 2022 until December 31, 2025.
Commissioners Amy Webster and Laura Burke approved the deal.
The Chairman of the Commissioners, Bruce Erb, was on vacation.
County IT Director Don Weakland pointed out that although he has an office in the courthouse, he is employed by RBA Professional Data Systems Inc.
Weakland made the presentation to the Commissioners noting that global services will cost $ 38,403 per month, while services associated with the 911 Center will cost $ 3,219 per month.
The county used to operate its own IT department, but officials now seem comfortable with hiring an outside company to provide technical services.
Burke said the services provided by RBA in recent years were “invaluable,” noting that the RBA during the pandemic helped set up âA new way of doing thingsâ.
Blair County Comptroller AC Stickel strongly supported the RBA deal.
“It’s an area of ââconstant technological change, and RBA has been phenomenal”, he said.
RBA has been primarily Blair’s IT department for the past six years.
During this time, he faced several challenges.
Weakland pointed out that the RBA assisted the county with its reassessment.
He helped the county implement new software and created a “roadmap” for the county, by identifying past, present and future technology initiatives.
RBA improved Blair’s “Aging network hardware” and replaced the communication system used by the 911 Center.
It is also taking steps to protect the county from cybersecurity risks.
Weakland said RBA supports more than 700 county devices across its many departments.
The approval of a new IT deal was one of the many issues discussed on Tuesday.
The commissioners also:
* Awarded a contract to Forsht Livery Service LLC of Altoona to provide transportation and storage services to the deceased through the coroner’s office. Each activity, such as collecting, transporting and storing the bodies, will cost a different rate, but applying the costs to the services provided in 2020, it cost the county $ 45,496.
* Webster introduced a resolution to recognize the County of Bedford, which was established 250 years ago. It was the ninth county to be created in what was then known as the colony of Pennsylvania.
* Burke said 341 area residents were tested for COVID-19 at the Blair County Convention Center last weekend. Tests at the center will be available on December 27, 28 and 29.