Blair OKs IT services deal | News, Sports, Jobs – Altoona Mirror

Dec 22, 2021
HOLLIDAYSBURG — The Blair County commissioners approved a four-year agreement on Tuesday with a State College firm to maintain the county’s information technology services, including those for the 911 Center in Altoona and the courthouse.
The cost will run close to $2 million, with the agreement covering Jan. 1, 2022, until Dec. 31, 2025.
Commissioners Amy Webster and Laura Burke approved the agreement.
Commissioners Chairman Bruce Erb was on vacation.
County IT Director Don Weakland pointed out that while he has an office in the courthouse, he is employed by RBA Professional Data Systems Inc.
Weakland made the presentation to the commissioners noting overall services will cost $38,403 per month while those services associated with the 911 Center will cost $3,219 per month.
The county used to operate its own IT department, but officials now seem comfortable with hiring an outside firm to provide the technical services.
Burke stated that the services provided by RBA over the past few years were “invaluable,” noting RBA during the pandemic helped set up “a new way of doing things.”
Blair County Controller A.C. Stickel strongly supported the RBA agreement.
“It’s a field of constantly changing technology, and RBA has been phenomenal,” he said.
RBA has essentially been Blair’s IT department for the past six years.
During that time, it has faced several challenges.
Weakland emphasized that RBA aided the county during its reassessment.
It helped the county implement new software and created a “roadmap” for the county, identifying past, present and future technology initiatives.
RBA upgraded Blair’s “aging network hardware” and replaced the communications system used by the 911 Center.
It also takes steps to protect the county against cyber-security risks.
Weakland said RBA provides support for over 700 county devices in its many departments.
The approval of a new IT agreement was one of several issues discussed Tuesday.
Commissioners also:
* Awarded a contract to Forsht Livery Service LLC of Altoona to provide transportation and storage services for deceased individuals through the coroner’s office. Each activity, such as pickup, transport and storage of bodies will cost a different rate, but in applying the costs to the services provided in 2020, it cost the county $45,496.
* Webster introduced a resolution to recognize Bedford County, which was established 250 years ago. It was the ninth county to be created in what was then recognized as the Colony of Pennsylvania.
* Burke said that 341 area residents were tested for COVID-19 at the Blair County Convention Center last weekend. Testing at the center will be available on Dec. 27, 28 and 29.
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