In hopes of generating revenue for the Madison County Fiscal Court, the group approved the first reading of Ordinance 19-16, an inter-local agreement between Madison and Scott counties in which the county’s Emergency Operations Center would host other counties’ information technology data centers and operations.
“As all of you know, revenue is an issue, right,” Chris Iseral, the county’s information and technology director, said last meeting. “We are all being tasked with ways to find additional revenues.”
During Tuesday’s meeting, he said the inter-local agreement would do just that with the already existing infrastructure at the EOC facility, and other government agencies paying for costs of operations and services.
Iseral read aloud the ordinance stating the Madison County Fiscal Court desires to offer data center services to Kentucky counties to promote “regionalism by providing secure, reliable and cost effective data center access.”
“It promotes regionalism, that is something that this court is actively trying to do with many other projects,” he said. “This is just the first step in that endeavor to reduce our costs, bring in revenue, help our neighbors and promote regionalism.”
The ordinance continues to say that it is the intention of the court to operate the center under the name of Kentucky Counties’ Government Cloud powered by Madison County, with facilities that meet the needs of a ‘tier three data center,’ providing 99.982% availability with appropriate power requirements, cooling requirements, technological infrastructure and staff to operate a data center.
He said the court would “charge for rates listed in the bills of services signed by both entities.”
Iseral, who is one of two members in the county’s IT department, presented the idea to the court last meeting saying he was approached by the newly elected Scott County Judge/Executive Joe Pat Covington.
“He was so impressed with the things we are doing as a team and asked if there was anyway possible to take advantage of what we were doing,” Iseral said. “He has technology which is 40 or more years old, no investments in infrastructure or people, no staff or team and old technology in a community that is demanding technological services.”
When Iseral and Covington looked at costs for Scott County’s own system and infrastructure, amounts were astronomical, and a vendor suggested the EOC building to offer data centers to other county governments by being a center service host.
The equipment would go into the EOC facility, and Scott County wold install their own software and servers and would allow the Madison County Fiscal Court to operate the Kentucky Counties’ Government Cloud and generate revenue.
“This would allow Madison County to be at the forefront of using the 'cloud' drive network database at the local government level,” he said. “Put the infrastructure in and sign the agreements, and we could be the forefront for data center services for Kentucky counties.”
He projects the operation would be a one-year return on investment to the fiscal court with profits in “years one, two, three, four and five.”
“You don’t find many projects where you can return your investment in a year,” he said.
Magistrate John Tudor said he was for the project, as it was important for everyone to work together.
“Judge, I think that anytime two groups or more can come together or work for a common goal, this inter-local agreement with technology with Scott County is a win for them and for us and possibly in the future, we can bring on more counties...anytime we can share technology, share information and move forward with working together, I think it is a win situation,” Tudor said.
Judge Taylor said one of the things he thought was most important with this was relating it back to the conversations being had within the county about county operations once federal funding is taken away from the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) program.
“We are going to have to have ways that we can think of that are going to help us fund and pay for all this infrastructure that has been put in place and really created a standard for citizens of Madison County,” Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor said. “We are used to having those money and those services, but we haven’t been used to paying for them, because it has been federal funding.”
“These kinds of projects are going to be what helps keep us alive after that is over with,” Iseral said.
• The court appointed Scott Shepherd to a four-year term as the county’s solid waste coordinator.
• Resolution 19-25 was approved allowing Taylor to apply for a grant that would help with county litter abatement.
• Taylor announced a 9/11 Memorial Mobile Exhibit will be coming to Kentucky for the first time at the Farristown Middle School on Oct. 23-24 from 5 to 7 p.m.
The next fiscal court meeting will be Oct. 22, 9:30 a.m., at the Madison County Courthouse, 101 W. Main Street, Richmond.
Reach Taylor Six at 624-6623 or follow her on Twitter at @TaylorSixRR.