Commissioners OK new antivirus protection

By Cecilia Fox -

MIAMI COUNTY — On Tuesday, the Miami County Commissioners approved the purchase of new antivirus protection and received the annual bridge inspection reports from the county engineer.

The board of commissioners approved a quote for Symantec antivirus security for a term of three years. The protection includes the county’s email, computer and server systems at a cost of $10.95 per unit per year. The total cost is not to exceed $32,850.

The new protection from Symantec will replace antivirus software from Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cyber-security company.

According to the Associated Press, the federal government dropped all of its contracts with Kaspersky Lab last week because of concerns about the company’s connections to the Kremlin.

“If the government is taking this seriously, so should we,” IT Department Director Matt Watkins said.

As the new antivirus system is implemented, there will be no changes in how the county’s system operates, Watkins told the board.

“The antivirus systems we use, we try to keep them as lightweight as possible. Not a lot of pop-ups and notifications. That’s our job, not yours,” Watkins said.

Watkins said he will pursue a refund for the county’s previous contract with Kaspersky.

The commissioners also received the results of the county’s annually required bridge inspections.

“Our bridges in Miami County are better than most counties in the State of Ohio,” County Engineer Paul Huelskamp said.

The credit for that is due to the residents of Miami County and their continued support for the bridge levy since 1952. That levy generates funds for the maintenance of the county’s bridge system.

“Other counties that don’t have a bridge levy like we do are suffering severely, closing roads because they can’t get their bridges to pass inspection,” he said.

There are currently 15 bridges posted for load reductions in Miami County. None of them are considered “critical,” Huelskamp said.

“If they were critical, they would be closed,” he added.

Only one will be permanently posted for load reduction, which is the Eldean covered bridge, Huelskamp said.

In other business, the board also approved the trade-in of mobile and portable radios for the amount of $52,000. The county traded in most of its radios in 2015 when they approved a $1.6 million contract with Motorola for new radios.

The Communication Center kept a cache of radios that were compatible with the old radio system in case of emergency, but those radios have been decommissioned and are obsolete.

By Cecilia Fox

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