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BOC approves new 911 server purchase

Erich T. Doerr | Review Correspondent

Of late the Clare County 911 Central Dispatch has had serious issues relating to server outages knocking out its computer system.

While the outages do not affect the availability of 911 services to residents the issue needs to remedied and on Wednesday the County’s Board of Commissioners approved a plan to try and do just that. Previously the issues had been narrowed down to likely being hardware related to the server, the board approved the purchase of two new servers for the price of $5,704 to replace the aging one.

While the purchase has been decided where the money for it is coming from has not. The board approved the deal but said it would talk with the Sheriff’s Office and 911 Dispatch to see if it would be possible for them to kick in on the price, the rest is likely to come from the contingency portion of the county budget.

IT Director Jim Neff was present for the decision.

“We are better off to run a second sequel server,” Neff said, noting this would allow maintence to be conducted on one without a loss of service. “It makes more sense to license the entire server.”

According to Neff he can’t guarantee the new servers are going to fix the outage problem. However he notes this plan of action does get rid of the older server where they believe the issue is occurring.

The server was one of several approvals made by the board. The others included the appointment of Jennie Pagel to fill a vacated position on the county planning board for a term to expire next July and some minor budget edits. The board also approved a broadband contract for Freeman Township, allowing it to join the growing county-wide infrastructure.

“Every time we pass one the costs go down,” board member Lynn Grim said. “That’s a woo-hoo.”

Earlier in the meeting the board was given a special presentation by C.A.R.E. of Clare County. C.A.R.E. stands for Consider Adoption Reduce Euthanasia and the organization was led by Betty Lloyd of Lake George assisted by Michele Franklin of Lake and Betty’s daughter Alyssa Lloyd. The organization raised concerns about how the save rate from Clare County animal shelters is only 41.2 percent compared to 53.9 in Gladwin and 93.5 percent in Roscommon.

“We think a 75 percent save rate is doable,” Betty Lloyd said as she and the group proposed higher-profile adoption events and some changes for treatment to the animals at the shelter.

The board had no objections to the proposals, which the C.A.R.E. members said should be able to be funded by donations.

“Let’s do a little more research,” board chairperson Donald David said, noting lowering the shelter’s euthanasia rate is a good idea.

The board also had a presentation from Farwell Schools Superintendent Carl Seiter regarding a millage for the Clare-Gladwin RESD skill center. Seiter discussed the need for the program to better prepare local students for jobs in the skilled trade industry. He compared the RESD’s restaurant program, which takes place in the home economics room at Farwell High School, to a better prepared one with an actual restaurant and kitchen at another skill center nearby.

“That’s why this millage is needed,” Seiter said of how the programs need to be changed.

Seiter added that if passed in addition to helping the RESD the five school districts involved would also have individual benefits. He said for Farwell those would involve the installation of a new computer for boiler consolidation and the purchase of a few new school buses. According to Seiter the district’s routes are hard on buses, Farwell typically needs to buy two new busses each year but of late has had to make do with one or none.

“We are way off rotation,” Seiter said of buying buses.

Due to a lack of attendance there was no public comment section at the board meeting but the board did briefly discuss the ongoing potential odor issue relating to the Waste Management Northern Oaks facility. During their commissioner reports both board members Leonard Strouse and Jim Gelios discussed a recent trip to a meeting between WM staff, environmental officials and local residents from its vicinity.

Strouse spoke first and said he was impressed by the meeting plus a tour he received of the landfill and the surrounding neighborhood. He said he smelled something when they were in the low-laying area near the landfill where residents who have registered complaints such as Ray Elliott live.

“I think there is something there occasionally,” Strouse said.

Gelios added WM continues to look into the issue. He added the problem appears to occur most on nights with a northeast wind with other board members adding once the odor gets into the low-lying area its wooded nature prevents any breeze from moving it out quickly.

“They seem to have a handle on it,” Gelios said WM’s treatment of the odor. “They know there’s a problem… What is the odor is we don’t know.”

David added that WM district manager Fred Sawyers has told him they are checking to see if more gas is getting out of the facility than should be. He added that if that is the case they are considering creating a second vent for it.

The following commissioner’s report from Jerome Burger saw Burger note that according to figures presented to him by Michigan Works the unemployment rate in Clare County recently increased by 1 percent. He added Michigan Works attributed this change to seasonal workers from the summer and it should hopefully balance out once winter jobs begin to replace them.

One Response to BOC approves new 911 server purchase

  1. an3tnet

    December 3, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Why does the 911 system have servers in the area that can fail and take out the 9-1-1 system? Is their not a back up link to the another region? How much back up power is their for these servers? Seems kinda sketchy system for providing 9-1-1 service. Is their a Disaster recovery plan for another failed server, power company failure, telephone company failure?