Polk County 911 bids head­ing out for con­struc­tion, ven­dors

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL -

The de­signs are fi­nal­ized. The in­for­ma­tion for bids is nearly com­piled. It’s just a mat­ter of find­ing the con­trac­tors and ven­dors to do the work to re-make Polk County’s 911 fa­cil­ity.

As­sis­tant county man­ager David McEl­wee said work is mov­ing for­ward to fi­nal­ize the needed in­for­ma­tion for bids not only for con­struc­tion on the ex­pan­sion of the Emer­gency Man­age­ment of­fices to house 911 op­er­a­tions, but also for the much needed equip­ment up­grades.

McEl­wee said the most com­pli­cated of those – and thus the first to go out for bids from ven­dors – is the Com­puter Aided Dis­patch, or CAD sys­tem.

He said pro­pos­als are be­ing gath­ered now and will not be taken any­time af­ter Nov. 4, so the county can spend am­ple time fig­ur­ing out the right so­lu­tion for lo­cal dis­patch­ers.

“We’ll prob­a­bly spend the rest of Novem­ber and De­cem­ber meet­ing with the ven­dors who sub­mit­ted pro­pos­als and go over what CAD sys­tems they of­fer and how that will ben­e­fit Polk County,” McEl­wee said.

He said his hopes were that County Com­mis­sion­ers might ap­prove a ven­dor dur­ing the early months of 2016 to keep the project mov­ing for­ward.

McEl­wee said a pac- kage for con­struc­tion bids af­ter a fi­nal­ized de­sign came from Allen Bell Ar­chi­tects in Car­roll­ton was set to go out early this week as well. Bid­ding will re­main open for 30 days, and a de­ci­sion on who will han­dle con­struc­tion on the new fa­cil­ity is ex­pected in early 2016 as well.

“I think we’ll be good to go to move for­ward on this as quickly as pos­si­ble,” McEl­wee said.

The new 911 op­er­a­tions cen­ter is to be housed in an ad­di­tion to the Emer­gency Man­age­ment of­fices in the rear of the build­ing. The new space – which will in­clude an area for 10 dis­patch­ers and op­er­a­tors work­ing to­gether – could also be kept pri­vate from the EMA of­fices if needed, but em­ploy­ees would share kitchen space.

More im­por­tant in the up­grades is the new equip­ment that is be­ing pur­chased with the move in mind, each piece of which will re­place com­put­ers, ra­dios and more that have been in use for years.

McEl­wee said pre­vi­ously that part of the prob­lem is that much of the equip­ment no longer is un­der any kind of war­ranty, and thus can’t be eas­ily main­tained.

Com­mis­sion­ers dis­cussed plans to move for­ward with putting the con­struc­tion project and equip­ment pur­chase bids out dur­ing the Oc­to­ber pub­lic safety com­mit­tee meet­ing.

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