Polk County 911 bids heading out for construction, vendors
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.