2019 Letters to the editor stock

Over the last few years the Porter County Public Library System has struggled to maintain a very old phone system. As the library system experienced increased outages across our 5 locations, it became evident the time had come to replace the worn out equipment. Initial estimates for replacement parts were in the range of over $70,000. We knew there had to be a more cost-effective way to address our issue.

Don Wellsand, the county's Director of Information Technology, and his staff offered to assist the library in evaluating our options. Don presented a solution to the Porter County Commissioners that would allow the library system to utilize the county's existing phone system that is maintained by his staff.

After the commissioners approved the plan, the library acquired new handsets and the associated licenses and expects to realize a cost savings of over $100,000 over the next 5 years. In addition, we will be able to use the county's best practices, standards and support while utilizing the new system.

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We share this experience with the hope that other county organizations will realize that cooperation can result in significant efficiency and cost savings for the taxpayers. We are very grateful that Don, his staff and the commissioners were far-sighted and extended a helping hand.

Roger Rhodes, Board of Trustees Secretary, Porter County Public Library System



Marc Chase is a veteran investigative reporter, columnist and editor of more than two decades. He currently leads The Times news staff as local news editor. He can be reached at 219-933-3327.