IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Server Outage Disrupts Logan County, Colo., Government

Officials have been unable to access important data for a week because their server host has been unable to connect with its server farm. Several other counties across the Midwest are also experiencing outages.

(TNS) — Information technology issues took up much of the Logan County commissioners' meeting Tuesday morning.

County officials have been unable to access important computer data for a week because their server host, Silicon Plains headquartered in Bismarck, N.D., is unable to connect with its server farm.

Jerry Casebolt, who manages IT for the county, said Silicon Plains won't say exactly what the problem is, but it's the second time in two years that it has happened. In 2021, Casebolt said, the company was the victim of ransomware.

The outage affects every department of county government except the Sheriff's Office and 911 operations. Without access to the county's data, none of the computerized information can be updated or even accessed, and direct deposit for employee pay cannot be made. Finance Director Deb Unrein said paychecks would be hand-written so employees will be paid on time, although overtime and other special circumstances can't yet be calculated. Board Chairman Jerry Sonnenberg said overtime pay would be calculated and added to a later paycheck. Sonnenberg also offered the time and efforts of the commissioners themselves to get the paychecks written.

"If I have to sit at a desk and write out checks, that's what I'll do," he said.

The commissioners discussed with Casebolt the possibility of taking their data in-house and hosting it themselves. Casebolt said many counties across the Midwest use Silicon Plains, and all of them are "down" until the company can restore the connection. He said in Colorado most county officials prefer to keep the data in-house with off-site backups and other security measures.

Earlier in the meeting the commissioners discussed with City Manager Kevin Blankenship an intergovernmental agreement to share computer server space for law enforcement and 911 operations. The city is installing a new server system for that purpose and has offered the county joint use of the system if the county will pay one-third of the maintenance costs.

The commissioners were amenable to the agreement Blankenship presented, with a few minor changes. County Attorney Alan Samber will review the agreement and it will go into effect June 1. The commissioners expect to ratify that IGA at their June 6 meeting.

©2023 Journal-Advocate, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.