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Plum partners with local government group for IT services

| Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 9:03 p.m.

Plum Borough participates in a variety of programs with the Turtle Creek Valley Council of Governments.

The 20 member municipalities in the nonprofit organization — the TCVCOG — each pay $5,500 in annual dues that entitle them to a host of opportunities including joint purchasing, equipment sharing and grant administration.

The borough is looking to extend its relationship with the COG into information technology.

Council, during Wednesday night's meeting, was expected to consider a cooperation agreement with the COG in which the borough's technology director would install new equipment — desktop computers and a server — in the COG office located in the Monroeville Municipal Building.

“Their equipment is completely antiquated and needs to be replaced,” said Josh Harp, technology director for the borough. “They will buy the equipment, and we will do the service.”

Harp said the COG has a small operation with four computer users, four telephones and a couple of printers.

In return, the borough would use the server in the COG office as a backup for its computer information. The COG's data also will be stored on the borough's server. Harp said Plum would have access solely to its data, and the COG's access would be to its data.

“They will have a system that replicates our data and vice versa,” Harp said.

Harp said the borough currently uses the Plum Senior Community Center as a backup site for its data. The COG site will serve as an additional replication site.

“This is a win/win for everybody,” said Harp.

Plum Planning Director Greg Bachy said the terms in the agreement would come at no cost to the borough.

“Josh will set it up with their IT (information technology) person,” Bachy said. “It shows cost and services sharing,” Bachy said.

Harp is excited about the potential opportunity.

“Hopefully, this is the beginning of an excellent partnership (in technology) with the COG,” he said.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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