Champlain Township has hired new technical support at a cost of $2,788 per month, representing an annual increase of $3,900 over the 2020 budget amount.

The move to hire increased technical support is somewhat connected to recent changes brought about by COVID-19, which has led to staff working from home and the need for virtual staff and public meetings related to council activities, in addition to the regular software management requirements, desktop support and resource planning for 55 computers and users.

Other bids were received, ranging from $6,343 per month, to $4,570 per month and $4,361 per month.

The firm hired offered the lowest monthly fee and hourly rate and provides an after-hours service desk at no cost, in addition to 365-day-per year and 24/7 support, despite the fact that the Request For Proposals required business-hours support only.

There had been a virtual meeting during which the voice of the treasurer had taken on an incomprehensible quality (nothing to do with the complexities of municipal accounting) and his voice was garbled again just as council and staff, including the treasurer, were discussing the hiring of the tech support company.

“I think we’ll have the company check out the treasurer’s computer first,” joked Champlain Township CAO Paula Knudsen.