Lawrence County to use bailout funding for IT upgrades

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NEW CASTLE – William Bordonaro didn’t mince words when asked to describe the information technology infrastructure in Lawrence County.

Bordonaro, the county’s IT director, said the entire county’s IT system, from cabling to servers, is out of date and everything needs to be replaced from scratch.

Therefore, he said he was happy that Lawrence County Commissioner Morgan Boyd recently announced that the county will use some of its US bailout funding to install new computer servers and cabling in Lawrence County. Government Center, the former Lawrence County Courthouse, and the County Building for Adult Probation and Family Relations.

“We couldn’t have done this with taxpayer funding,” Bordonaro said.

Boyd added: “It is really necessary. It has been a long time since there has been a full update to our systems.”

New wiring and better locations for them

Bordonaro said the first part of the project will be to place all new fiber optic cabling in all three buildings and, once done, remove all old cabling.

He said the old wiring couldn’t be removed first, as the county’s in-line systems would then be completely unavailable until the new wiring was in place.

Bordonaro said some of the cabling in the buildings dates from 1979, saying every piece of fiber optic cabling needs to be replaced.

He also said the location of the wiring needed to be improved as some of the locations, due to time constraints, were not well placed.

In fact, he and Boyd said one of the waiter boxes was located in a closet in the ladies’ washroom at the old courthouse.

“It’s a mess right now,” Bordonaro said. “There is wiring everywhere.”

As a result, the county hired Eckles Architecture & Engineering, of New Castle, to be the general architect, and HF Lenz Co., of Pittsburgh, to be the engineer for the project.

New servers and increased cybersecurity

Bordonaro said that once the new cabling is in place, they will update all of the county’s servers as he said the current servers are old and failing.

He said the new servers will offer up-to-date firewall protection with dueling authentication measures like the servers used in locations such as banks.

This will be done to help prevent cyber attacks and increase their overall cybersecurity, Bordonaro added, saying cybersecurity was high on his priority list, as were other counties in the state.

“I see holes in the way we do things,” Bordonaro said.

Bordonaro said the servers will be the same as those in the Lawrence County Public Safety Department building.

This will allow the different buildings to act as a “backup server” between them in an emergency. This is done in other counties, such as Beaver County.

As such, new equipment will be placed at the Ministry of Public Security to connect to other government buildings.

Project schedule and cost

Bordonaro said he hopes the wiring portion of the project can begin this month, although he said the total duration of the total project will be around 1.5 to 2 years.

He said the total cost of the project would be around $ 1 million to $ 1.5 million, with the new servers alone costing around $ 480,000.

That’s why he said the county could never have afforded this project on its own without funding from the US bailout.

Bordonaro said he was “up to the task” to help coordinate this project, saying it is vital for the county and the services provided by county agencies.

Boyd said that once the new cabling and servers are in place, the commissioners and the IT department will visit each county / agency in the county to see their current IT infrastructure needs.

New courthouse speakers

In the meantime, Bordonaro said commissioners recently approved the purchase of new public address equipment for courtroom number three and courtroom number four at the Lawrence County Courthouse.

He said their current audio systems were so bad that hardly anyone in the courtrooms could hear themselves.

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