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$40,000 Budget Shift

Joint Capital Planning Committee this morning

The Joint Capital Planning Committee heard today about the high cost of Information Technology with town IT Director Sean Hannon requesting $298,800 in gadgets, wiring, phones and copiers and his schools counterpart Jerry Champagne seeking $247,000 for FY17, which begins July 1st.

The town has roughly 250 computers and part of the upcoming budget request will replace 40 of them.  Interestingly with all the terabytes of vital information that needs safe storage, the town does not currently use "the cloud" but relies on physical servers, like Hillary Clinton.

Currently all data resides at the Police Station with a back up server at Town Hall.  But for additional security Hannon is requesting $20,000 for another "disaster recovery" server located a lot further away in case a calamity should wreak havoc at both the Police Station and nearby Town Hall.

At Tuesday night's controversial School Committee meeting where three library paraprofessional were verbally handed pink slips, much to the dismay of parents and library lovers, Rick Hood wondered why "wireless WiFi upgrades" were coming out of the operating budget and not capital.

At Superintendent Maria Geryk's request Champagne moved the $40,000 item to his joint capital budget request, which if approved by JCPC and Town Meeting would give the elementary school budget an extra $40,000 to apply towards the library paras.

The JCPC was unanimous in affirming the $40,000 can come into the mix as capital, but they did balk at giving the item special treatment by changing their process and taking a vote now on recommending the item to Town Meeting.  Normally the Committee hears all requests from all departments over a two month period before taking a vote.

That vote will take place either March 10 or more likely March 17.  And I'm pretty sure the School Superintendent will benefit from the luck of the Irish.


This post first appeared on Only In The Republic Of Amherst, please read the originial post: here

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$40,000 Budget Shift

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