BLC, HP plan to share IT services

New position created

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A partnership to provide support for information technology [IT] for the Town of High Prairie and Big Lakes County has been initiated.

At its regular meeting June 23, Big Lakes council approved an Inter-municipal Collaborative Framework [ICF] agreement with High Prairie to add inter-municipal IT services.

Big Lakes council approved a second IT technician position to be funded from the operating contingency reserve for the remainder of 2021 and the regular operating budget for subsequent years.

“I know IT is the thing of the future,” High Prairie East – Banana Belt Councillor Don Charrois says.

“We have no choice but to support the IT.”

IT administrator Balaji Selvaraj says the recommendations to Big Lakes and High Prairie councils came from an inter-municipal committee meeting May 10.

Total cost of the agreement is $100,000 annually.

The agreement includes $19,000 of expenses that are already approved in the Big Lakes 2021 final budget. The net new budget request is $81,000, Selvaraj wrote in his report to council.

High Prairie will fund 60 per cent of the cost from September 2021 to December 2023.

Starting in 2024, the project will be funded 50-50 between the High Prairie and Big Lakes.

“Shared IT personnel for the Town and additional resource for Big Lakes will enable a collaborative approach for IT services,” Selvaraj says.

High Prairie currently has outsourced IT support services, he adds.

“With that contract coming due, we have been engaged in discussions around a joint collaborative IT model for both communities where Big Lakes would provide IT services to the Town,” Selvaraj says.

Under the proposal, Big Lakes would provide desktop support, network administration, server administration and maintenance, maintenance of phone systems and data backup and security.

To be able to provide this support to the Town, Big Lakes would need to hire an IT technician who can support the current IT administrator, Selvaraj says.

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