Government, News

Commission okays equipment purchase, IT contract & support for community groups

by Kate Shunney

Morgan County Commissioners approved a variety of actions at their November 15 regular meeting.

Commissioners approved the hire of a replacement employee for the Sheriff’s Tax Office at $15 per hour and a yearly stipend from the Ambulance Fee ordinance. Chief Tax Deputy Kim Michael told county officials she is preparing her staff and training them for her planned retirement at the end of 2024.

Commissioners okayed a Memorandum of Understanding for specialized fire, rescue and EMS services with Martinsburg.

Two of three commissioners voted to approve the purchase of leased copies from Document Solutions as the county’s five-year lease expires. Commissioner Joel Tuttle recused himself from the discussion since he works for the same company.

Salesman Darren Lucas gave commissioners the options to continue their lease at a cost of $1,525 per month but also proposed the county could purchase two new devices to replace aged-out equipment and purchase the remainder of the working copiers from the lease company.

County officials opted to buy the new copiers and lease equipment at a cost of $24,502 and pay an annual maintenance agreement in the amount of $3,950. The county would have no monthly lease payments.

Commissioners approved a letter of support for the Sleepy Creek Watershed Association to apply for a $80,000 planning grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust for a streambank restoration project along the Sleepy Creek.

County officials approved a proposal from Digital DSI to provide contract IT services to the county to augment their technology director’s work.

Bryan Bandy proposed Digital DSI could create an inventory of county-owned technology devices  and devise a ticketing system for the county to handle their requests for tech help from staff.

Bandy said his company could jump in when the county’s IT personnel got behind on help requests or had a technology project that took their attention from daily maintenance demands.

The company would provide 10 hours of work per month to maintain and support the county’s network. Over that 10 hours, Digital DSI would charge $120 per hour for IT support.

Commissioners approved the contract, with a $750 onboarding fee and a cost of $2,000 per month.

The move was seen as a way to get a current picture of devices, network needs and equipment lifespan for planning ahead. The county isn’t prepare to hire another full-time IT staff person, officials said.

“I don’t envision us as a long-term solution,” Bandy said.

Commissioners approved a request from Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Company to use the courthouse lot on June 15, 2024 for a block party. County officials said the fire company still needs to get the permission of the lot owners. The county only leases the paved lot for use as a parking lot.