The impending warnings about data loss and the need for computer modernization which accompanied the commencement of the year 2000 (Y2K) caused Essex to thoroughly review its future computer infrastructure needs. A comprehensive computer needs assessment was performed in 1999 and recommendations generated by that assessment were implemented.
The Town has steadily replaced computer systems which would not be
compatible with today?s operating systems or networking standards. Today,
all departments have equipment which is networked and which can
accommodate industry standard operating
systems and software (most recent
hardware upgrade was in early 2006).
Networking the Town’s Computers
In fiscal year 2001 the Town approved funding for the networking of all of the computer systems in the Fire, Police, and Emergency Dispatch Departments. This network is now fully operational and the original server was replaced in 2006. In fiscal year 2002, the Town approved funding for the networking of all of the computer systems in the Town Hall. This network is also now fully operational and presently includes a general network server (replaced 2006), an accounting server (added 2006), and an Assessors’ server (reconditioned and added 2006). Severe budget constraints in fiscal years 2003-05 did not allow for network funding in the Town’s other major building, the Water Filtration Plant. However, a no-cost dedicated cable I-net link provided by Adelphia has
linked both existing networks together and a full local area network was added to the Filtration Plant in early 2006. The cable I-net has allowed the Town to share high-speed Internet, e-mail, file backup, and centralized virus protection capabilities among all three buildings and file sharing between the three networks.
The Town's website was formerly brought to you using rudimentary
capabilities since the Town?s web presence capability was limited by staff
time, budget, and by available web page storage space. However, in early
2008, the Town had the site
hosted by a third-party vendor that has
enabled each individual department to post and maintain its own web
content. This new platform is not limited like the Town's first site and
will allow the Town to offer much more dynamic information than in the
The Town will continue to upgrade software, hardware, and operating systems to keep pace with the rapidly-changing field of information systems management.