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Computer backup contract approved to protect Indiana County data

| Thursday, July 3, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

Indiana County Commissioners have taken action to protect data on county computer servers, approving a contract with Link Computer Corporation to provide backup services and equipment. The contract will pay Link $23,260 for three years of the service. Data on county servers will be protected in the event of computer failures or natural disasters.

“That includes all the different data servers that we have,” Commissioner Mike Baker said at the board's June 25 meeting. “Right now we do not have implemented a comprehensive plan for backing those things up, and that keeps me up at night.”

“It not only backs up all the county's data, it also replicates the hardware, so if you have a catastrophic failure downstairs with hardware, this device will replicate it and we can be up and running very quickly,” said John Luko, county information technology and data services director. “It also provides us with the ability, in case of a natural disaster, a tornado, whatever, we can take our very essential personnel and move them to Altoona and actually continue doing what we have to do here for the county.”

Commissioners approved a change to the Indiana County/Jimmy Stewart Airport Authority's contract with Bronder Technical Services, Inc. for installation of the Automated Weather Observation System at the airport. The project cost is increasing by $1,670 to modify existing controls for runway and taxiway lights.

The modifications will allow pilots to turn the lights on as they approach the airport and turn them off after they've landed. The airport currently keeps the lights on at medium intensity all night, so the modifications will significantly reduce the airport's electricity usage, airport manager Tom Robertson said. The airport authority will provide the local share of funding for the change order.

A change order approved for the Air Park access road project adds 15 days to the contract term with no change in costs.

Commissioners approved the county emergency management agency's triennial 911 plan and renewed the contribution rate for the county's 911 telephone access plan at $1.50 per line per month for the next three years.

Commissioners Chairman Rod Ruddock said pushing the state to contribute more funding to offset local 911 costs is one of the top priorities for the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania. “We are losing money every year as a county on that reimbursement to fund our 911 service,” he said. “Our 911 service costs in the neighborhood of about $5.04... per line or wireless (per month) on the average, which means we're losing about $4 that should be coming our way to the county to help offset our costs.”

Commissioners approved a proclamation to recognize the Kovalchick family for its land donations to the county for the Ghost Town Trail and that trail's connector with the Hoodlebug Trail.

“The whole project got started when Joe and Judy Kovalchick donated the property (16 miles of the former Ebensburg & Black Lick Railroad property) to us to allow the trail to be constructed,” Indiana County Parks and Trails Director Ed Patterson said. “Without the Kovalchick family's generous donation and support, the Ghost Town Trail would not exist and the benefits of the trail to our county and region would not have happened.”

Patterson estimated 1.2 million people have visited the Ghost Town Trail since the first 16 miles of trail opened on Oct. 1, 1994.

The Kovalchicks donated about 5 acres of property in Burrell Township to accommodate a connection between the Hoodlebug and Ghost Town trails in 2010.

Commissioners approved a location agreement allowing film crews for the movie “Southpaw” to shoot a scene inside the Indiana County Courthouse. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as troubled boxing champion Billy Hope,

Filming was to take place in a cell in the sheriff's department on the third floor of the courthouse after business hours on June 27.

“This particular agreement is one regarding something that we don't have happen in Indiana County, let alone the courthouse, very often,” Ruddock said. “In fact, I don't know that we've ever had this in the courthouse. It has to do with Indiana County taking on a new role as a host (for filming a movie scene).”

The brief scene in the courthouse stars Gyllenhaal and the actress playing his character's daughter.

“It's really a story about fighting, a lot of it's fighting outside of the ring,” said Drew Nicholas, assistant manager for site selection for Hope Films Inc. “This scene is a crucial scene linking him to his daughter and the struggle that's going on in the film. It's kind of getting closer to a lower point and, as much as I would, I don't want to give too much away. I have a tendency to give away endings, so I'm just going to leave it there.”

The board renewed contracts with attorneys Katrina Kayden and Jacqueline McCracken to represent parents of children involved in dependency cases. Rates for both contracts remain the same as in 2013-14.

The commissioners approved a change order on behalf of Indiana Borough for the Downtown Segment B2 Economic Development Project, reducing the contract to match quantities actually installed and the inclusion of an additional push button at the intersection of Philadelphia Street and North Seventh Street.

The revised contract amount with M and B Services, LLC will be $937,924.55.

Commissioners awarded a $344,100 contract to Marmat, Inc. of Hooversville, to add roughly 5,000 square feet of unfinished floor space at 280 Indian Springs Road, Suite 125, for World Health Industries. The project will be funded through a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Grant and the Indiana County Development Corporation.

Four more municipalities were authorized to apply for County Aid Liquid Fuels funding through PennDOT District 10, including :

• Creekside Borough, $2,950.56 for its Frech Street paving project; estimated total project costs are $13,720.

• Young Township, $30,989.51 for maintenance of roads; estimated total project costs are $32,187.50.

Greg Reinbold is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2913 or

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