Rusk County Commissioners unanimously approved a 63-month lease to upgrade printer and copier technology at a special session of the Rusk County Commissioners Court Wednesday.
Representatives from UBEO, a business technology services provider based in San Antonio, explained their assessment findings to the commissioners and proposed an agreement to rent out and maintain new printers, copiers, and other related office equipment to improve efficiency and save costs. Under the proposal, most of the county’s copiers and printers would be replaced or scaled down, and fax machines replaced with cloud-based solutions.
“The reality is, the technology is not running the way it needs to,” said Jamie Bolick, an analyst at UBEO. Based on discussions with employees and equipment testing across 26 locations, she noted that the County’s existing technology has aged and depreciated in value and slows down day-to-day operations. Maintaining the outdated technology costs the county between $7000 and $8000 a month. Under the proposed lease, there would be a single maintenance contract and a standardized program that is projected to save the County $83,000 over that 63-month period. Additionally, UBEO will buy back 13 of the County’s newer printers or copiers that still work efficiently and roll them under the maintenance contract. As Bolick put it, with technology constantly improving, renting business technology provides more advantages and flexibility in the long term than buying equipment outright.
After an hour of discussion and enthusiastic support from County Information Technology Director Benny Payne, the motion to take action on the UBEO lease was approved.
Commissioners also heard and unanimously approved a proposal for the County to apply to the Texas Rural Business Fund (TxRBF) for a grant intended for public infrastructure improvements for a Tyler Pipe manufacturing facility on County Road 203. The proposal is part of a planned expansion project for Tyler Pipe in the Henderson Industrial Park.
John Cloutier, President of the Rusk County Rural Rail District (RCRRD), made the case for the proposal, explaining the economic benefits of laying additional railway tracks meant to supply scrap metal to the new Tyler Pipe facility, which grant funds would go towards. The long-term rail yard could support job creation across multiple manufacturing sites.
Grants from the TxRBF can award up to $1,000,000, and the funds must be used for public infrastructure improvements and related engineering costs. Applications must demonstrate strong community and regional support and the potential to spur additional economic development. If successful, Rusk County would be required to match 10% of the awarded funds.
In other business, Commissioner Randy Gaut’s request to hire an Operator I for Precinct 1 was approved. The Commissioners also approved two reports from June for the Justice of the Peace PCT. 4 and Rusk County License and Weight, and finally a request by SQUAN (Frontier Contractor) to place a buried communication drop along/within the right-away of CR 156.