A project that was expected to cost the City of Lloydminster $80,000 is now expected to cost over $126,000 after an announcement at Monday’s council meeting.
Paul Schwebius, manager of information systems with the city, said that the Emergency Disaster Infrastructure (EDI) project is important for the city, in backing up data and records in case of an emergency.
“It’s always important to have a backup, and as to why we are doing it now, it’s part of the IT strategic plan that was carried out in 2010-2011 time frame,” he said. “It’s the next part of the strategic plan that we are getting to now.”
City Coun. Larry Sauer took issue with the increase and made mention of it during the meeting.
“When I looked at the administrative report and the amount that it was going to cost and how it was going to be 50 per cent more than what it originally had been budgeted for, we as councillors hold administration accountable within the budget limits,” he said.
Sauer said that he wanted to get an explanation about how the cost increased.
“And wanted to know why I didn’t see it in the report, but (Paul) pointed out the reasons why it wasn’t in the report,” Sauer said.
Sauer admitted that the 50 per cent jump is quite an increase for a project.
“In this case, with the U.S dollar was different from what it was like at budget time, and it made sense to me,” he said.
Sauer said that he was OK with the project being more because of the professional services that the city needed for the project.
And we do need this,” he said. “But I wanted to be sure that project fell within our overall budget line.”
Schwebius admitted that the higher U.S. dollar is the main reason the project is costing the city more than it had originally planned.
“The hardware equipment and the program that we are buying is based in U.S. dollars,” he said, adding any change in the US dollar compared to Canadian will slightly affect the price.
“Other reasons for the increase, was the amount of hardware and software that was required as part of the whole solution, was more than what I budgeted for and planned for.”
The final resting place for the new EDI will be at the Operations Centre, where the city has a climate controlled server room, according to Schewbius.
“The existing infrastructure is at city hall, and we will be replicating the data over the network,” he said.
Asked what the time line for having the EDI fully operational, Schewbius said by the end of 2014, the EDI should be in place.