Thursday, May 28, 2020

Wayne, Inkster awarded grants to upgrade security

Both the City of Inkster and the City of Wayne were among 14 municipalities receiving grants through Financially Distressed Cities, Villages and Townships (FDCVT) Grant Program.
Michigan State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks explained that the cities facing unique financial challenges were eligible for the grant funding totaling $2.7 million.
Municipalities can participate in the FDCVT Grant Program if they are experiencing one or more conditions indicative of “probable financial stress” as defined in state law. The grants fund specific projects, services or strategies, including infrastructure and public safety enhancements, that move a city, village or township toward financial stability, Eubanks explained.

“I am pleased to announce that this year's grant awards will help fund infrastructure and public safety projects in Michigan communities,” she said. “These dollars will enhance those critical services that residents depend on every day and even more so during times of crisis like these.”
For fiscal year 2020, the Michigan Legislature appropriated $2.5 million for the program, with a $200,000 carryover from the previous fiscal year. The FDCVT Grant Program has a $2 million cap per municipality and grants are awarded based on applications submitted by the municipality.
The City of Inkster was awarded $145,218 for public safety enhancement through the installation of surveillance cameras while the City of Wayne received $296,756 for public service enhancement through upgrades of the technology infrastructure, much of which, officials said, is 10 years old.
 “I am incredibly excited about this grant announcement as this has been one of my priorities since becoming a Wayne city councilmember and now serving as mayor,”  John Rhaesa. “As the use of technology continues to expand in our everyday lives, this grant provides an opportunity to deliver better service at the municipal level to our residents, and it will streamline many of the outdated processes that currently exist, creating more efficiencies for the employees.”
Wayne City Council members unanimously approved a bid from the Plante Moran Public Sector Technology and Operations Consulting Division to provide a department-wide information technology and cybersecurity assessment in February, 2019. The cost of the assessment was $19,800 for the information technology report and another $10,000 for the cybersecurity assessment. The assessment was completed in September of 2019 and identified significant risk exposure associated with obsolete, technology infrastructure. The grant funding provides the city with an opportunity to mitigate a majority of the issues highlighted in the assessment and move towards a much more sustainable and updated information technology environment, Rhaesa said.The application identified key technology investments saving the city more than 6,000 staff hours or $300,000 annually by digitizing hardcopy records and making them digitally accessible, he added.
The grant funds will modernize the city firewall, telecommunications system, fiber, network switches, camera systems and key business applications including building permit software, time and attendance software, security access controls, and provide Microsoft 365 application suite to all city staff members.
The City also received a $5000 reimbursement check from the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Agency to cover 50 percent of the $10,000 spent on the cybersecurity portion of the assessment.
“I want to thank the State of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Treasury Revenue Sharing and Grants Division for this grant award. The City of Wayne is struggling financially and does not have the funds to make these necessary and in some cases, critical investments. This grant will go a long way when it comes to transforming local government efficiencies and promoting sustainable service delivery,” said Wayne City Manager, Lisa Nocerini.