911 upgrade to cost around $400kBy DEMETRIUS THOMPSON,
The Newton County Board of Supervisors are one step closer to completing its upgrade of the county’s 911 dispatch center after further examining the details at their meeting Thursday.
Emergency Management Director Brian Taylor updated the board on what the upgrade would cost after doing an overview of what the center actually needed and what equipment and services the two bidders for the contract, a partnership between Motorola Solutions and Jackson Communications and ComSouth, are offering.
Taylor said that after evaluating what the 911 office actually needs, the county could do the upgrade for around $400,000, not including hiring an outside contractor to construct the furniture. That would be less than bids submitted by the companies at the Dec. 21 meeting. ComSouth submitted a bid for a five-year contract with maintenance support for $644,477.08 and a 10-year contract with maintenance support would be $787,527.08.
Motorola and Jackson Communications partnership would be $644,697.90 for a five-year contract and 10-year contract would be $847,975.76.
Supervisor Joe Alexander motioned that the board approve advertising for the construction and installation of the dispatch furniture and the motion passed unanimously.
The board will make their final decision for the upgrade bid at their Feb. 6 meeting.
The board, under Taylor’s recommendation, discussed ending its contract for the Code Red service, which warned residents about impending inclement weather. Taylor said dispatchers had to manually enter the information into the service to warn residents and that several smartphone weather apps, such as the Weather Channel app, already give residents the same information. Taylor said the service hasn’t been utilized much in the past year.
In other business, Decatur realtor Hampton Gardner spoke with the board about the possibility of tearing down the building at the corner of Broad and Fourth Avenue.
Gardner had asked the board to get the building, that is owned by Junior Buntyn, appraised but the county has not been able to acquire an appraiser yet.
Gardner also has requested the town of Decatur in assistance in getting the building removed in efforts to beautify the town.
“We’ve got a beautiful college here and I really hope the town will continue to grow, but I really feel like this is a hindrance to the town,” Gardner said.
Gardner said that his plan was to get the building leveled using imminent domain and turn the space into extra parking space for the courthouse. When court is session, parking spaces are usually scarce along Broad Street.
The board decided to table the issue until they could consult with county attorney Jason Mangum, who was on vacation last week.
County Administrator Steve Seale also discussed the ongoing problem of outstanding justice court fines. The total now stands at $1.7 million some of which goes back several years.
The supervisors agreed to meet with Justice Court Judges Mark McDonald and Scott Round to decided how to move forward with the outstanding fines.