The Woodward News

October 23, 2013

City planning networking improvements

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — The City of Woodward continues to move toward outsourcing more services.

Woodward City Commissioners voted during their regular meeting Monday evening to outsource management of the city's computer network and to lease new server equipment through Pioneer Telephone Cooperative, Inc.

Assistant City Manager Doug Haines said the agreement with Pioneer is part of the city's efforts to update the city's computer server system.

"Like a lot of other businesses, we have a back room full of servers and have  network switches at other locations.  Through this agreement, they (Pioneer) will come in and replace all that equipment, because they really do need to be replaced, and they'll keep it updated," Haines said.  "At the same time they will also manage that equipment so we're not having to call people in."

While the city will now be leasing some server equipment, rather than owning all the equipment, Haines said the agreement allows for Pioneer to replace and update the leased equipment as needed.

In addition, he said the new equipment will greatly enhance the city's network capabilities.

Until recently, he said the city has been working off of a T-1 line, which just hasn't been able to keep up with the city's growing network demands.

But now, he said, the agreement with Pioneer will provide the city with continued access to fiber-optic lines which should greatly improve transmission capabilities.

"They turned us up to fiber 2 weeks ago and the difference is tremendous," Haines said.

According to a lease equipment schedule included with the agreement, the city will have to pay Pioneer a one-time charge of $11,580.13 for certain equipment and the installation and programming of all the new equipment.  The city will then pay a monthly rent of $1,435.84 for the leased server equipment.

If the city had purchased all the equipment outright, the total cost would've been over $53,000, according to a "sold equipment bid" also included with the contract.

Commissioner John Meinders asked Haines "do you feel this (the lease agreement) is the best way to go?"

"It is," Haines said.  "We've struggled for many years, as have other organizations, to try to keep up with technology.  So to be able to have our equipment stay updated and have someone maintaining it, is a big step forward.  And these costs are really very attractive numbers."

Especially, he said, when considering that "with technology there is basically a 3-year shelf-life."

"It's all a cost of doing business and if you don't stay up with it, then it affects your productivity," Haines said.

In addition to the service and lease agreements with Pioneer, city commissioners also approved the following during Monday's meeting:

• the second reading and final adoption of an ordinance to rezone property in the 1100 block of Oak Ave. from I-1 (Restricted Manufacturing) and I-2 (General Industrial) districts to R-2 (General Residential) district so that the land may be used for residential development, including possible multi-family housing;

• acceptance of an easement from the USDA Southern Plains Range Research Station for the land immediately surrounding Experiment Lake which is used as a public access park;

• a resolution allowing for the assignment of franchise and transfer of distribution system by Oklahoma Natural Gas to its new stand-alone, publicly traded natural gas distribution company now known as ONE Gas, Inc.; and

• approved a 6-month lease agreement with UNIVAR USA, Inc. for property adjacent to a railroad spur.  City Manager Alan Riffel said that there is now "other parties interested" in renting the same property, which is why the renewal of UNIVAR's lease was only for a 6-month term instead of a full year. "So we can have discussion with both parties," Riffel said.