Cortland County has $500,000 in federal funds earmarked for IT upgrades

(Photo Source: Unsplash).

The Cortland County Legislature is set to vote on the approval of an information technology (IT) infrastructure refresh project with a price tag close to $500,000 at its legislative meeting on Nov. 18.

The county’s IT department presented the project at Tuesday’s Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting. It cited the need to boost the county’s server infrastructure, as well as its data backup speeds, storage capabilities, and software upgrades. 

The project, if approved by the Legislature, will total $422,000 in federal funds from the county’s $9.2 million American Rescue Plan allocation. As part of this allocation, the committee included $14,000 for maintenance. IT Department officials noted the cost of maintenance would be $14,000 every year.

(Graphic courtesy of Cortland County Legislature).

County administrator Rob Corpora said at the meeting the county set aside $500,000 for IT infrastructure and renovations. Corpora added there will be $78,000 left in that pile for the county to further address IT needs.

IT department director Jack Hess said parts of the county’s servers inventory currently operate on a Microsoft Windows program from 2008. Part of the funding, he added, would be allocated toward updating everything to the 2019 version of said program.

The proposal also addresses the county’s data storage situation, which Hess said has become an increasing need over the years.

“The county currently relies on a hybrid disk and tape technology solution that is rapidly approaching the limits of what they are capable of in terms of the volume of data that is required to be backed up,” according to Hess’ proposal.

Hess said that although the project’s price tag may seem sizable, the IT department has held conversations about upgrading its infrastructure for a long time.

“It is a big number, but this is a big opportunity we have not had in the past,” Hess said. “We have an opportunity to really make a significant difference to the strength of our network with this money.”

County Legislator Kevin Fitch (R-LD 9) spoke in support of the project.

“We know the county uses this as one of its primary infrastructures,” he said. “This is very well needed.”

The upgrades will also complement a study the IT department is proposing in order to have consultant Advizex supervise the county’s network. Hess said the study will yield a list of best practices for the county to follow.

Corpora said part of the remaining federal funds in the $500,000 set aside could go toward shoring up any new expenditures recommended by the study.