In an effort to leverage collaboration between the two municipalities, Waterford and White Lake townships are showing team spirit by sharing information technology (IT) resources.
The Waterford and White Lake boards of trustees unanimously approved the agreement at their respective meetings last month.
“Quite frankly, this is huge,” said Waterford Supervisor Carl Solden. “It’s a very important move for White Lake, and it’s what I expect from local governments and what must happen for them to survive.”
Gov. Rick Snyder and the state Legislature have underscored collaborative agreements between municipalities in lieu of statutory revenue sharing.
“Under the governor’s best practices, this is one way to collaborate services and it saves White Lake money at the same time,” said Waterford Treasurer Margaret Birch.
Due to the scope of Waterford Township’s IT Department, including facilities and equipment, it’s able to conduct a point-to-point wireless link from Township Hall to the White Lake Township Hall and other White Lake facilities. Waterford will also replace the White Lake server, implement threat management measures and deploy the replacement of its PCs.
The wireless link will be advantageous to White Lake Township and enables Waterford system personnel to service their system from within the confines of Waterford’s building, which eliminates on-site visits.
“Up until now, White Lake had no staff internally and depended on an outside company to support their network and Internet connection,” said Waterford Township Information Systems Director Jared Black. “We have the infrastructure to easily accommodate another community so we’re offering our services to support their network and operations, but to do that we have to upgrade them and connect them to our wireless Internet link.”
Waterford’s IT Department is in the process of getting the wireless link in place.
“Their financial system is in need of an upgrade so we’re beginning this part,” Black said.
White Lake Township will pay for updated hardware and software; Waterford will assist on the specifications, perform the installation and support services under the agreement.
To get White Lake up to speed, it must shell out $32,000 to Waterford to facilitate the transactions with vendors and pay for Waterford parts and labor. After the initial phase, White Lake will pay an annual fee of $15,949 for ongoing support services.
Moreover, if White Lake opts to buy additional hardware, costs for support would increase by $4,000.
“White Lake was paying about $30,000 for support services and will now be paying almost half,” Black said. “They will also take advantage of spam filtering, the firewall, and backups — things they won’t have to worry about paying for.”
White Lake Clerk Terry Lilley said the board was “very happy with the arrangements.”
“We’re thrilled with the arrangement,” he said. “They have a five-person IT Department that will be overlooking all our needs. So far we are really happy with what we’re hearing from them. Hopefully, financially this will turn out to be a huge benefit for White Lake Township.”
Lilley added that the Waterford IT Department would be taking control of the general operations of White Lake’s server this week. Since White Lake’s outdated server must be rebuilt to accommodate new software, Lilley said he expects that it will be several weeks before the township is able to fully sever its complete reliance on old technology resources.