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New circuit clerk computer server to cost $37,000

Old server at end of life, no longer maintained by IBM

MORRIS – The Grundy County Circuit Clerk’s Office is looking to get a new computer server that handles case management tasks. The current server was installed in 2008 and is at the end of its lifespan, Circuit Clerk Corri Trotter told the county board committee that oversees her office.

IBM no longer provides service or maintenance for the current server, she said, and the office is currently using a tape backup process. According to a handout to the committee, an outage would require seven to 10 hours to recover the data. With a new server, that time would be cut to one to two hours

“We have more users accessing our case management system inside the courthouse,” Trotter said.

There are about 40 users accessing the information right now. The server has lasted about as long as it was supposed to. The previous server lasted from 1999 to 2008.

“We’re pretty much on track for the lifespan for what we’ve had in the past. And technology is changing by the minute,” Trotter said.

One of the main reasons for the need for a reliable server is because the state mandated e-filing, a program that went into effect at the start of this year. The mandate requires the circuit clerk to store all documents filed in a digital format. The new server is expected to cost about $35,000, with an additional $2,600 for installation. Half the cost would be taken from the circuit clerk document storage fund and the other from the automation storage fund.

“I spoke to some counties that upgraded theirs recently and they, next day, saw a faster system,” Trotter said.

Trotter’s office did not go out to bid for the server. Instead, they got a quote went with the recommendation of the Gooden, the company that provides the office’s case management software. Midland provided the office with its last server, Trotter said.

“I feel the relationship we have over many years is pretty solid and fair and not worth rocking that boat,” Trotter said.

Perry Rudman of the Grundy County State’s Attorney’s Office said it was OK to not go out for bid in this instance.

“This is almost in the nature of professional services,” Rudman said “It’s not just equipment anymore, it’s a very technical kind of a thing.”

Trotter’s office and the Law and Justice Committee had discussed the new server at the end of last year, but did not receive hard numbers on cost until the beginning of this year.

“To wait until next year does not seem in out best interest,” she said.

The Law and Justice committee of the Grundy County Board oversees the circuit clerk and has to approve the budget and any budget changes the offices makes. The office had the money for the new server, County Administrator George Gray said.

“The money is there, the line item just isn’t assigned,” he said. A budgetary amendment needed to be passed to access the money.

The committee voted to approve the request. It now goes to the county Finance Committee and then needs to be approved by the full county board.

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