2018-10-11 / Front Page

Dockery informs commissioners on need to replace county’s outdated computers

By KAY TOTO staff writer

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners held a workshop meeting Thursday, October 4, to discuss a variety of subjects. No action was taken but issues will be taken to a vote at the next regular meeting scheduled for Thursday (tonight), October 11, beginning at 6 p.m.

Director of Technology and Me­dia Services Austin Dockery was in attendance to discuss the need to update the computers in various places in the courthouse. Chairman Walker Norman, Dockery, and Di­rector of Public Works Roby Sey­mour met recently with personnel from Hewell Packard to discuss the costs of replacing outdated equip­ment. Most of the existing approxi­mately 60-plus units are five years old, and some are 12 years old.

“Our software is Microsoft Win­dows 7, and is losing support. In the next year or two, the company is not going to issue updates to fix the loopholes to keep potential hackers out,” said Dockery. He went on to explain that eventually, new soft­ware programs would not work with these computers, and breakdowns are becoming more and more fre­quent. “As a whole, it’s putting a big impact on us,” he said.

Norman suggested possibly leas­ing the computers needed, stat­ing that a five-year lease would be $12,000 per year. Norman asked that the commissioners reflect on the idea, and stated that, since this is not a budgeted item, he would check into the source of the funds needed, and have an answer by Thursday, the night of the meeting.

The Lincoln County Office of Emergency Services (OES) Di­rector Casey Broom presented the board with a Mutual Aid Agreement from Columbia County. “They were a great help to us recently with the recent tragedy of the young woman that was killed on the bridge be­tween the two counties. They were very gracious, and gave us mutual aid to control the scene. We had other calls within the county as well at that time, and with their aid I could send units out to cover those calls as well.

“We are covered by a statewide mutual aid agreement, but Colum­bia County requested an individu­al, direct agreement as well. I feel that we should sign it. They would be a huge recourse for us,” said Broome.

Norman also remarked that this does not include any additional fi­nancial responsibilities from either county.

There was discussion between Norman, Chief Appraiser Ken­neth Adair, and Seymour regarding the possibility of entering into an agreement to hire Pictometry Cor­poration to fly over the county to continue to update the Geographic Information System (GIS). Cur­rently the county uses the software QPublic, which can be found on the county’s tax assessors’ site. “We have never paid for the imagery to locate and evaluate properties. However, the level of detail of this new system would be helpful, not only for tax assessing, but for law enforcement and emergency ser­vices,” said Seymour.

“First and foremost, this is a budgeted item. It is in the budget,” stressed Seymour. “This is very different from the qpublic.com software that we use now, and is currently on our website. In fact, it would replace the qpublic.com for us. The areas would be flown in the winter, to allow for the best look at structures. The imagery would show structures five different ways, north, south, east and west, plus a top down view. In the case of a natural disaster, the company would fly the damaged areas within three or four days, greatly helping the assessments. McDuffie County already has this. If we enter into the agreement, we would give them $3,300 at the time of signing. When they deliver the imagery, would would be in four to five months, we would pay them $9,922. On the second and third yearly anniver­sary, we would pay them $13,229 each year for a total of $39,690,” finished Seymour.

In other business, Seymour ad­dressed the Convenience Center Waste Oil Disposal. The disposal of oil at the disposal center has always been free, as the county was paid by the company who removed it. However, Seymour stated that was no longer the case, as the county is now charged to have the used oil picked up. “The problem really was brought to the forefront when someone brought in seven or eight 55-gallon drums full of oil.

“So we looked into surround­ing counties, and the only one that even takes used oil at all anymore is McDuffie county,” said Seymour. He then suggested to charge for re­ceiving used oil, with this recom­mendation for fees of $5 for 0-5 gallons, and $7,50 for 5-10 gallons, and to refuse any quantities over ten gallons. He also remarked that R and W Auto Parts continues to take used oil at no charge. Com­missioner Lamar Wade commented that people who have been taking it out to the Convenience Center would not pay, and would start to dispose of it by pouring out on the ground. Norman responded by say­ing that, if caught, they would be out of business.

The discussion turned to the Lin­coln County courthouse and the costs involved with replacing the roof. Earlier in the year, Seymour spoke once again, stating that the project had been put out for bids, with two bidders responding. Sey­mour said the bid request was con­figured to request total price includ­ing removing the metal portion, and a price if the metal was untouched. A decision is expected to be made at the October meeting.

Regarding the conflict from the previous month’s meeting concern­ing the request by Booker T. Elam Jr. for the rezoning of a plot on Chip Mill Road from A-1 agricul­tural to C-1 neighborhood commer­cial, Seymour spoke about meeting with Elam the week after the meet­ing, explaining the conditions and inspections, buffers, and restric­tions during church services that he would have to adhere to.

“I encouraged him to meet with the church in order to see if they could work out their differences. I wanted to give him that opportu­nity,” said Seymour. His response to Seymour was that he had been unable to get a group of church members to agree to meet to talk to him. Elam was encouraged to con­tinue to try to meet with the church members.

Lincoln County Senior Center Director Nancy Blount met with the board in order to present them with the fiscal year 2019 Cooperative Agreement from the Central Savan­nah River Area Regional Commis­sion, for funds to continue to supply the Lincoln County Senior Center with meals. Blount informed them that signing the agreement would defray most of the cost of presently 38 meals at the center, as well as 10 home-delivered meals.

LMIG funds have arrived and the board discussed the bids for the paving of various roads in the county. The board is considering using a cheaper surface treatment in certain areas instead of asphalt, allowing more roads in the county to be resurfaced.

Norman proposed to abolish the position of a county surveyor. “Very few counties have a county surveyor anymore,” Norman said. “Our last surveyor passed away. I just think it’s time to abolish the Lincoln County’s Survey Office. We contract that out now,” he con­cluded.

At the same time, Norman also proposed to abolish the Lincoln County Recreation Authority as well. The Authority and its board were established sometime in the 1990s when growth at Elijah Clark State Park and surrounding areas was anticipated. “The board has not met in decades and their terms have long expired. It’s a defunct board, with no mission. If the op­portunity ever presents itself again, we can always re-establish it,” said Norman.

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