ROCHELLE — Officials in Rochelle are taking steps to assess the city's current cyber security, first concentrating on the electric operations of Rochelle Municipal Utilities.
Jason Bird, Supt. of Electric Operations, said the move is to assure the infrastructure is safe and secure along with protecting the customers’ and the utility’s best interests.
He presented his recommendation to council during Monday evening’s meeting at city hall.
City council approved the ordinance waiving a competitive bid and awarded the contract to AESI-US, Inc. in the amount of $48,300. Bird added AESI-US would be working closely with Rochelle Information Technology (IT) staff and the new network administrator.
Council also approved a resolution authorizing the execution of an agreement with Sikich LLP for IT services in the amount of $134,242.50. Representatives with Sikich LLP have been working with Rochelle city staff since the loss of the city’s IT employee and have since began documenting the IT infrastructure and verifying any existing documentation.
As part of the agreement, Sikich LLP will assess several IT functions including the internal connectivity, network devices with servers and backup servers, firewall password recovery and policy review and network manager email recovery. They will present documentation of findings and make any recommendations.
City staff will begin working with a consulting firm to review current zoning codes to determine if any would need updating.
Michelle Pease, Rochelle Community Development Director, addressed council to explain the plan is to work in three phases. Council approved phase one to allow Teska and Associates to begin the work with city staff and stakeholders.
“This will be a collaborative approach. We will first begin by focusing on issues that have emerged or are problematic or important that we have experienced in the past,” Pease explained. “We want to create user friendly codes with graphic illustrations for our customers.”
The first phase involves a thorough analysis and review of existing codes as well as any recommendations and is expected to take between two and three months to complete. The second phase would involve preparation of any new regulations, with the third to include final review and implementation.
A committee comprised of planning and zoning members along with council and/or the mayor will evaluate and make any recommendations to the planning and zoning commissioners.
From there they would make their recommendations to the city council.
“This is a chance to get a really good look at the codes to determine if they are keeping up with the times and if we can streamline them to make the process easier for the customer that is coming through,” explained city manager Jeff Fiegenschuh. “This is an extensive process. It is important to get input, but whoever is using our codes, they know best what is working and not working.”
Council approved a new façade improvement program for downtown Rochelle businesses and building owners. Up to $5,000 is available for those who complete eligible improvements to the façade of their buildings through a 50 percent matching grant.
More information including the list of eligible expenses, boundary map and application procedures is available on the city’s website and at the Community Development Department located at 333 Lincoln Highway.