Montgomery County eyes tech upgrades

FONDA – The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors’ Finance Committee moved a resolution on Tuesday to upgrade computer and phone systems at the county’s Old Courthouse office building.

At the Board of Supervisors’ General Services Committee meeting on July 9, members created an amendment to use $30,000 from the 2013 Operating Budget in order to update the courthouse. Montgomery County Business Development Center CEO Kenneth Rose went to the committee meeting to discuss what needed upgrading.

Rose told board members the newest desktop computer in the building was from 2009, and the oldest was from 2006. He said all of the computer software is outdated and doesn’t run efficiently for the four economic development workers who use them.

“I’ll be honest with you,” he said. “Half the time I just use my own laptop because it runs more efficiently and quicker than the courthouse’s. Employees in the courthouse operating on these outdated machines get frustrated at work trying to get anything accomplished.”

Rose said the total cost of four new computers and software would be $7,000. $2,000 of community development money would be available for use, according to Rose. So he requested $5,400 for the difference.

Rose also told board members about the outdated phone system in the courthouse. New wiring and phone equipment is necessary in the building, according to Rose, because the current system regularly fails for employees.

Rose proposed, with help from the director of data processing and the commissioner of public works that the county upgrade the courthouse’s phone system by connecting a new fiber-optic line from the County Annex, running new ethernet lines, purchasing new fiber-optic switches and upgrading other miscellaneous hardware.

Courthouse upgrades would total up to around $24,000.

In other business at the Board of Supervisors Personnel Committee meeting on Tuesday, the board reappointed Sandra L. Frasier as the director of Real Property Tax Services. Frasier will serve from Oct. 13 through Sept. 30, 2019. The annual base salary for the position is $50, 648.

The Personnel Committee also moved a resolution to adopt the Montgomery County Workplace Violence Prevention Policy Statement.

The county was told to amend six violations by the Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau. These violations included six buildings that didn’t have policy statements posted within them.

Places of public employment with at least 20 full-time employees are required to design and implement workplace violence protection programs to prevent workplace violence to employees.

Every employer is required to evaluate its workplace and determine what poses potential risks for employees. Then, it must develop a written violence-prevention policy for its employees’ reference.

Montgomery County now has a complete violence-prevention policy posted in all of its public buildings.

William Strevy, chairman of the Personnel Committee, told the board this was a policy the county needed to adopt.

On July 23 at 6 p.m., the full Board of Supervisors will have its monthly meeting.

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