The agenda item was placed for consideration of the court by County Auditor Lajuana Kasprzyk and County Judge Richard Butler.
A new IT department was included in early versions of the county’s fiscal year 2013-2014 budget, but was eliminated due to budget constraints prior to the approval of last year’s budget.
Butler said he had received input from various county employees and officials about the creation of an IT department and a new position for an IT director as a way for the county to become more efficient and more coordinated with various technologies utilized by the county, especially in regard to computer hardware and software.
With new paperless filing requirements for the county clerk and district clerk offices on the horizon and other issues, Butler said, the idea of the creation of a new department is becoming more of a priority.
“I agree,” County Commissioner Shelby Dupnik said, in regard to the growing need for such a department and position.
Butler estimated the salary for the new position of IT director would be between $60,000 and $80,000 per year.
County Auditor Lajuana Kasprzyk said the county spent $67,000 with outside contractors for IT support and services between Oct. 1 2013 and May 31, 2014.
“Keep in mind that you can have a very good IT person and they are not going to be able to address every issue that comes up,” Butler said. “They are going to have to hire outside contractors. We are not going to completely eliminate outside contract expense, materials, and things of that nature.”
“I think the advantage you would gain is that you would have someone who has knowledge of all the systems and hopefully as new systems are put in place and updates are made they can make it a little more uniform and a little more user friendly,” Butler said.
Dupnik said he talked with commissioners in Wilson County who now have an IT director and the department there is working well.
“He has saved them a lot of money, so far,” Dupnik said. “He takes care of their systems security, their phone systems, their PA system and the copy machine. Nothing is bought unless it goes through him and then he reviews the need so that it is all uniform with everything else.”
“I am in favor of IT because we need to get into the 21st century,” Dupnik said.
Dupnik made a motion approving the the creation of an IT department for Fiscal Year 2015. The motion was seconded and all voted in favor.
In other business, the court considered the creation of a new human resource department, and after discussion, decided to take no action at this time pending further research and review.