The Mt. Morris Village board unanimously approved a plant to upgrade its technological hardware at a cost not to exceed $12,000 at its Tuesday meeting.
The plan includes iPads for the village president, clerk, treasurer and trustees as well as software including Microsoft 365 programs.
“It’s providing remote access,” Trustee Phil Labash said. “There’s software and hardware solutions. During COVID-19, we can’t guarantee we’ll be able to meet in person or with employees. We can share files and collaborate and eliminate hard copies. There’s access to past meeting content. We’ll have village-specific email addresses.”
The iPads will be provided to the offices, not the officials themselves. Once a new official comes in, they’ll receive their predecessor’s iPad.
Other hardware like chargers, OtterBox cases and digital pens are included in the plan.
The iPads will be 32 GB and WiFi only. $6,254 is the total hardware cost. $2,876 will be paid per year in software. There is also a consulting expense of $1,400. The total estimated cost is $10,529.32.
“This was priced through CDW Computer company,” Labash said. “It’s higher than pricing all of this on Amazon. I prefer CDW because they’re a computer company with government contracts and it would be easier if we had issues. At a little bit of an additional cost.”
Labash expects the program to go live in January or February after training with Village IT Consultant Ed Handschuh.
The project is expected to be paid for by submission to the Local CURE program, which is a grant that pays for COVID-19-related expenses. The grounds for submission is the iPads would help the village work remotely in emergency situations.
If the expense isn’t approved by the CURE program, Labash said he’d submit it as a village capital project for next year.
“I feel comfortable with what we’ve submitted so far and if it will get us to the 21st century, we agreed to take advantage of it,” Village Clerk Paula Diehl said. “And the $10,000 is small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.”