By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
The Village of Halkirk will be seeing some technology upgrades.
The upgrades will be done in order for the municipality to safely secure resident information and to streamline financial tracking.
“There’s an urgent need to update at this point,” said new Village of Halkirk Chief Administrative Officer Andrea Benoit, who has conducting research into the municipality’s current technology.
“The current technology is a security risk.”
During the Aug. 12th council meeting where the matter was discussed, village council approved three motions in relation to technology upgrades.
The first motion approved the expenditure of around $3,600 to upgrade and migrate the current information to the computer.
The company chosen to perform the upgrades will be Trinus, a technology company based out of Stony Plain which works with municipalities for their technology needs.
The second motion approved by council is to have Trinus monitor village systems for hacking attempts and viruses, to keep resident information secure. The service will also include offsite back-ups of all files.
“This is the barebones service,” said Benoit.
“They will manage the firewall, access points, backup software and manage the antivirus.”
The fee for this service will cost the village around $140 a month.
“If we don’t pay them, you’ll pay someone else,” said Benoit, emphasizing the need to have off-site monitoring.
The final motion approved by council is the purchase of municipal government finance software Muniware.
The software will include modules to manage all aspects of the village finances, including payroll and cemetery mapping. The software is a one-time purchase of over $30,000, and then there will be a yearly licensing fee.
When questioned about the need to upgrade in light of the current viability review, Benoit said, “It’s difficult making decisions expecting to dissolve, because we still have to function in the meantime.”
The purchase of the software will come out of the village’s unrestricted reserves.
Drivers entering Halkirk will notice that the plywood signs beside the town markers have been refreshed at a total cost of $175 including plywood and paint.
The Village of Halkirk has been approved for a $50,000 stimulus grant from the Government of Alberta.
The grants are designed to help municipalities get projects done and get people back to work. One of the requirements of the grant is that it must create work, decrease municipal red-tape, and it cannot increase the tax rate.
In order to use the grant, the village must submit a proposal to the Government of Alberta by Oct. 1st and the project must be completed by Dec. 31st, 2021.
Council made the decision to submit a proposal for road work in the village, with the focus on Berry Street.