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Marblehead is granted $120,000 for IT upgrades

MARBLEHEAD — The town will be getting a needed boost to its internet technology infrastructure after receiving a $120,000 grant from the state.

The grant, received through the state’s Community Compact Cabinet’s (CCC) Information Technology grant program, is focused on driving innovation and transformation via investments in technology.

The funds will go directly towards updating Marblehead’s servers and email system, said Marblehead financial director and town accountant Alison Nieto, who led much of the effort to obtain the grant and prepared the application.

“This will help the town a lot,” Nieto said. “We applied for a full $160,000 award and we received the $120,000, which is obviously great. The grant will go towards consolidating and replacing the town’s 13 servers, which are all over 10 years old. It will also be used to upgrade the town’s email exchange software, Microsoft 365. All of this will really bring things up to date for the town.”

In addition, the town will upgrade its Datto (an American cybersecurity and data backup company) management backup solution. The new Datto device will provide infinite retention of backups, which is important for preserving the Town’s records.

Those improvements to the system were exactly what helped Marblehead fit the bill and pull ahead during an “intense” competition to receive the funding, said Lieutenant Governor Karyn E. Polito, who serves as chair of the CCC, in a statement.

“(Marblehead’s) application was chosen because it met the overarching goal of driving innovation and transformation at the local level via investments in technology,” Polito said 

Nieto recognized the grant was a perfect opportunity and went to work submitting applications, which were accepted from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.

“In Marblehead we outsource our IT to a third party,” Nieto said. “So I worked with them and they created a proposal to replace all of the towns servers. The application process was pretty streamlined. The state offers a number of grants like this. This is just the latest iteration and one of the largest in terms of money.”

“(Marblehead’s participation) not only provides it with technical assistance, but it also places (the town) in a more competitive position for other state grants, such as this IT program,” Polito’s statement said. “We are glad to see the community taking advantage of the benefits the CCC program offers.”

A virtual awards ceremony for the grant will be held at a later date.

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