With sporadic email and phone outages continuing to affect city operations, the Edmonds City Council Tuesday night unanimously approved a $318,00-plus emergency budget aimed at fixing the problem.
The total dollar amount of $318,934 was higher than the $271,546 listed in the initial Tuesday council agenda; City IT Manager Brian Tuley told My Edmonds News that he didn’t have final figures from the consultant until late Tuesday, which necessitated the adjustment to the higher budget number.
Tuley told the council June 17 that he had been formulating a long-term plan to upgrade the city’s IT services, but that pressing problems — including days of computer and phone disruption — required emergency measures. In response, the council at that time approved the hiring of a consultant to scope out what was needed.
On Tuesday night, Tuley described the plan, which includes stabilizing and supporting the city’s telephone system, which he noted was still experiencing occasional hiccups, including recent downtime at the Edmonds Police Department. All three bids ranged between $25,262 and $25,922, and include reusing existing phones and licenses, he said. The telephone system fixes will occur within three weeks, Tuley added.
Upgrading the city’s server, storage and network will cost $266,264, which includes installation, maintenance and training, plus a $10,000 contingency fund and taxes. It will take 12-14 weeks to complete the upgrades, Tuley said.
In stating his support for the short-term fix, Councilmember Tom Mesaros said he hoped that the Tuley would focus next on creating a plan for regular upgrades to avoid future problems.
The council also:
– Approved by a 3-2 vote (Councilmembers Lora Petso and Joan Bloom voting no and Council President Diane Buckshnis and Councilmember Strom Peterson absent) the final plat for the seven-home Shoreshire development in the Lake Ballinger neighborhood.
– Heard an update from Development Director Shane Hope regarding the process for creating the city’s 2015 comprehensive plan. More information will be coming to the council at a later date, Hope said.
Two notable mentions during council comments: Bloom said she plans to push the council to develop a code of ethics, citing the City of Shoreline’s one-page ethics document as a possible model. Petso said she planned to ask for a re-vote of the council’s June 24 approval of the Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program, due to her ongoing concerns about safety related to the Sunset Avenue Walkway project. There is no money currently in the city budget to build a pathway on Sunset — which has been the subject of ongoing citizen and council debate in recent months — but being included as part of the Transportation Improvement Program is a necessary step for any future work.