Budget committee recommends contract award for emergency services data system

(Targeted News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge)

ITHACA, N.Y., July 12 — Tompkins County issued the following news release: The Legislature's Budget and Capital Committee today recommended the award of capital contracts to implement a new integrated public safety voice and data system, the final phase of the County's Public Safety Communications capital project.

The committee, by unanimous vote, recommended the Legislature award capital contracts for the project, which will replace the County's existing computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system, implement mobile data applications for emergency responders, and activate other voice and data components to achieve full integration through a standardized multi-agency records management system. Total maximum project cost would be $1.45 million.

A project team, made up of representatives of law enforcement, fire/emergency medical services, the Department of Emergency Response, and information technology services, unanimously recommended Spillman Technologies, Inc., of Salt Lake City, UT, be awarded the primary project contract for software and professional services.

Information Technology Services director Greg Potter told the committee $700,000 reserved to re-establish a mobile data system for responders will be put toward the project, with another $150,000 expected in Homeland Security grant funding. In a separate future action, the Legislature would have to approve $600,000 in bonding to support the remainder of project funding. Potter said that the first phase of the project–replacement of the CAD system–would be scheduled for completion by year's end, before technical support ends for the current dispatch system. The Legislature's Public Safety Committee will also act on the recommended project prior to Legislature consideration next week.

Among other actions, the budget committee recommended acceptance of a $50,000 grant from the Park Foundation to support a planner to work with municipalities on reducing impacts from natural gas drilling. It also recommended a $25,000 allocation from the Capital Reserve Fund for Natural Scenic, and Recreational Resource Protection toward support of the Finger Lakes Land Trust's acquisition of a 170-acre parcel on Dryden's Irish Settlement Road.

The committee also discussed, but decided not to pursue at this time formal review of concerns raised in recent weeks by Legislator Kathy Luz Herrera concerning wording revisions to the minutes of the Legislature and its committees, especially changes requested by legislators in the wording of staff as recorded in the minutes. Luz Herrera has suggested the practice potentially raises issues of ethics and transparency, with possible human resources implications, and therefore should be formally incorporated into policy. Legislature Chair Martha Robertson has directed that interim procedures be followed and has asked the Government Operations Committee to discuss the issue.