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Shenandoah upgrades several areas of city’s IT infrastructure

August 10, 2018

Big changes are coming to the Shenandoah IT department, and with the advent of a new budget year comes new equipment and software as old projects churn onward.

Shenandoah Information Technology Director Chris Grizzaffi spoke with The Villager about the new records request software, fire protection for IT equipment and old developments coming to the small city.

Tachus installation

After three years of discussions and contract negotiations, and close to three months after installation began, Tachus “fiber to the home” connections have snaked their way under most of Shenandoah.

In response to years of slow internet connections with Xfinity, AT&T and similar internet providers in the south county, Shenandoah conducted a survey in 2015 which found several complaints of slow speeds and poor service. In 2016, the city accepted a $1.5 million bid form Houston-based Tachus to install fiber optic cables and bring ultra-high speed internet to residents.

Neighborhood by neighborhood, technicians have wired up homes and businesses with the cables, which will be available at every property, should the resident choose to use Tachus’s services.

After wiring in Shenandoah is complete, the company will move on to the rest of the city’s neighborhoods, including Tuscany Woods, Malaga Forest, Parkgate Reserve, Avalon Oaks, Cantwell Forest and the Reserve at Grogan’s Mill.

At the Aug. 8 Shenandoah City Council meeting, Tachus representative Hal Brumfield presented an update on the project, reporting that 20 homes had purchased the high-speed service and the already-installed homes should be up and running by the end of September.

Public records software

In order to process public records requests more easily, Shenandoah staffers asked elected officials for both new record request processing software and the hiring of a records clerk in the new fiscal year.

Slated to take effect with the new budget on Oct. 1, the records request processing software will reference records uploaded to the Laserfiche document management system. As a capital project request, the city will move from the existing document software to the Laserfiche Avante platform, which includes a web interface that will give Shenandoah residents and anyone requesting public records from the city more access.

The new records clerk has not been hired yet, but the position is expected to be filled in coming months.

Fire protection

The city’s Information Technology Department had a new fire suppression system installed inside the city’s computer server room in June.

The foam featured in the system, Grizzaffi said, is not water-based and can extinguish a fire without damaging IT equipment stored nearby. The benefit of the new set-up, he added, is the lack of harmful chemical residue in the foam. Had a fire broken out at City Hall with the old sprinkler system in place, all of the equipment stored in the server room could have been destroyed.

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