Clarks Summit may go digital

June 18th, 2015 10:25 am

First Posted: 1/17/2015

CLARKS SUMMIT — Borough council concluded 2014 with $50,000 in excess funds, and council may use some of that extra money for digital storage and security in 2015.

Borough Manager Virginia Kehoe and Police Chief Chris Yarns offered council some ideas for spending a portion of the borough’s excess funds on approximately a terabyte of cloud storage to back-up data, security cameras surveying areas around borough buildings, and tablets for council members.

Yarns suggested using cloud storage to back-up borough and police files in addition to using external hard drives. The company he researched would provide about a terabyte of storage for an annual fee of approximately $1,200 per year.

“What if this building burned down?” Yarns asked council. He said since all borough and police records are backed up on external hard drives that are stored in the building, they would be destroyed should anything happen to the borough building.

Yarns also suggested the borough invest in security cameras because of recent car vandalism issues in the parking area behind the borough building. In addition, Kehoe added buying tablets for council members to review their paperwork electronically without printing multiple copies may be more environmentally and user friendly and may save money over time.

Council member David Jenkins asked the chief about cameras for patrol cars “for the security of our officers and us.” Yarns said it would be a great idea and that other local townships and boroughs recently added cameras to patrol cars. He said the best cameras to use are expensive, costing approximately $5,000 per car, but that he would still look into the patrol car cameras.

In total, Kehoe said the cloud storage, building security cameras, and tablets may cost approximately $6,000, not including the patrol car cameras. Kehoe said she will bring more solid price quotes on these items and a cost benefit analysis of using paper versus the tablets before council votes on any of the digital storage and security suggestions.

As for the reminder of the $50,000 funds, council will again have to decide where to allocate the remaining money, and agreed to table the decision until next month.

Council also passed a motion to discuss budgeting finances for raises at working sessions and personnel issues at executive sessions before such items are placed on the agenda for a vote.

“I don’t like coming to council and having papers put in front of me and immediately voting on it,” Johnson said regarding agenda items to renew office staff contracts and raises for 2015. Johnson said he did not have a problem with the office staff receiving raises, but how some items were on the agenda for voting without an executive session to discuss certain personnel issues.

Council passed the contracts for Kehoe, Neil Bartholme, and 2 percent raises for three office staff members, and also held an executive session at the conclusion of the meeting.