Commissioners approve request for new computer servers

By Mike Lange
Staff Writer

    MILO — The Piscataquis County government offices and sheriff’s department will have two new computer servers soon, thanks to action taken at last week’s County Commissioners’ meeting.

    Sgt. Tom Harvey of the sheriff’s department made a presentation at the Sept. 17 session, outlining the problems with the current system and the most cost-efficient way to fix them. One issue is that not all files are automatically backed up on a server, Harvey said. “With these new servers, once you sign in with your user name, all your documents will be saved in addition to any backup you might do on your own computer. Right now, we don’t have that (system),” Harvey said.
    When the current server went online 10 years ago, Harvey said the vendor didn’t set up the automatic back up “because it was more complicated. But we’re seeing the value of doing it now.” He also noted that Microsoft doesn’t offer tech support on the server anymore “because it’s too old.”
    Harvey recommended that the county buy two servers because of a potential “information bottleneck” that could slow down the entire system during high-traffic periods. The $9,259 cost for two Dell servers would be split between the sheriff’s department and the regular county operating budget.
    Oddly enough, it’s less expensive to go through a vendor, Gov Connection of Rockville, Md., than to buy the servers direct from the manufacturer, Harvey said. “And they have 24/7 customer service,” he added.
    The commissioners only had a few questions about Harvey’s proposal, with Chairman Fred Trask noting that the employees’ concerns should be priority. “We don’t have to deal with the system every day. You do. So let us know what you prefer,” Trask said.
    The rest of the Sept. 17 meeting went relatively quickly as commissioners appointed new members of the Budget Advisory Committee and briefly discussed road problems in Shirley and Willimantic.
    Commissioners reappointed Keith Smith of Harford’s Point, Buzz Small of Sebec and Terry Knowles of Brownville to the committee, and appointed Dover-Foxcroft Selectman Jane Conroy to her first term on the panel. The meeting schedule will be finalized in a few weeks and probably start in October, said County Manager Marilyn Tourtelotte.
    The County Commissioners also scheduled a meeting with the Shirley Board of Selectmen for Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. to discuss a petition signed by 53 residents concerned about the condition of the Shirley-Blanchard Road. Another petition signed by 73 Willimantic area residents was also brought to last month’s commissioners meeting, protesting the ruts and potholes on the Elliottsville Road.
    While both roads are within a municipality’s jurisdiction, Tourtelotte explained that, by statue, the County Commissioners have to review the petitions and “either ask the town to fix the roads; or the county can do it, and then charge the town for the repairs because the roads have to be passable.”
    Willimantic recently had its annual town meeting, and hadn’t responded to a request to meet with the commissioners, Tourtelotte said.

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