John Gavin, Director of the Jim Gatchell Museum in Buffalo, approached the county commissioners last week to seek new computers, a new server and IT support for the museum.
The computer system is outdated and in need of an upgrade, and Gavin gave the commissioners an estimate of the cost for the upgrade, which would be $15,000 for the server and each computer work station would be $1,100. Six were included in the estimate.
The museum does not have the money for the upgrade in its budget for this year, but Gavin said they would put it in this year's request.
Discussions centered around a $20,000 reserve fund that has been set up through the county, not only for the museum, but for the library and other county entities and why those funds could not be used for the upgrade.
The reserve was intended to pay month-to-month expenses for the entities during periods of low revenue that would be paid back by the entities when revenues increased and not used for improvement purchases like the computer system, according to Gavin.
Commission Chair Smokey Wildeman suggested the county look into the reserve funds, readdress the computer issue at budget time later this year, look into bringing all county entities under a single IT person and to look at the server issue with each of the entities.
This year's budget session will begin this spring and the county commission will finalize their budget at the July 16 meeting.