East Buffalo Township data recovered; Computition disputes township claims

Mar. 29—LEWISBURG — The data and digital history of East Buffalo Township has been recovered despite fears the records had been erased in a computer crash and lost because it lacked offsite backup.

Supervisor Jim Knight said a Feb. 26 emergency supervisors session approved an agreement with Intrada Technologies of Muncy to retrieve the information from the failed computer server and also upgrade data and archival storage.

Township officials first publicly reported the crash at a Feb. 12 meeting, saying they had an agreement with Computition of Lewisburg to back up the computer data with offsite or cloud storage.

Computition said it never had an offsite backup agreement with the township. Stephen Berthelsen, owner and operator of the company, said the statements by township officials were "completely false" and "downright lies."

Township officials disagreed with Berthelsen. They said the long-running arrangement with Computition included offsite data storage. "We were paying them monthly, which included backing up files," said Knight.

Berthelsen said the township's monthly payment covered local, onsite backup and not offsite or cloud services. Berthelsen also said that as recently as October 2022 Computition told the township it did not have offsite backup and the township declined to purchase such services.

The township and Computition both agreed they did not have a signed contract.

Berthelsen said Computition sold the township a Synology NAS computer server in August 2013 and agreed to review and resolve problems that might occur with it. He said that included replacing server drives twice.

"East Buffalo Township refused to purchase a managed services package or a maintenance agreement with Computition at that time, despite being advised to do so, choosing instead for a break/fix approach," he said. "When something on East Buffalo Township's server or computers would break or malfunction they would call Computition to fix it and would be charged via invoice by the hour for labor and for parts."

Furthermore, he said, Computition evaluated the server seven weeks ago, when township officials said they could not access it, and determined the drives were still functioning but the server's motherboard had failed and needed to be replaced or the drives transferred to a new device.

Berthelsen said he reported his findings to the township and included a price for the new device, but the township declined his assistance.

Instead, township officials approved the agreement with Intrada Technologies for $2,700 to set up Microsoft 365, a cloud-powered platform, and data migration services, including transferring the data from the Synology NAS computer server.

Township Manager Jolene Helwig said East Buffalo will pay $103.75 per month to Intrada for IT support and services, cyber insurance and updates to a computer network.