TAMPA, Fla. (5/1/08)--The City of Tampa plans to use GTE FCU's headquarters as a backup data and operations center in case of a disaster or other disruption of municipal services. Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio visited GTE FCU's headquarters in Tampa Heights April 22 to see the areas that would serve as a data center and base of operations for city officials if a widespread natural disaster, such as Hurricane Katrina, or a more localized event, such as a fire in a city building, occured. Iorio will present the initiative and contract for the proposed agreement to the Tampa City Council for review and approval on May 15. Discussions and planning meetings began in mid-2007 after GTE FCU management offered to act as the backup location. President/CEO Wendell "Bucky" Sebastian and GTE FCU's board saw the proposal as an opportunity to demonstrate the credit union's commitment to the city. "We basically opened our arms to them," said Stephen Foster, GTE FCU's vice president of real estate, who oversees the credit union's facilities, security and real estate operations. GTE FCU has a 12.5 acre campus just north of downtown Tampa. The technology infrastructure between the credit union and the city are compatible, the credit union said in a press release. The partnership would include completely separate but pre-staged infrastructure for emergency operations programs and exercises.