By Aly Van Dyke
The Topeka Capital-Journal
TOPEKA, Kan. — After more than a year of research, the Shawnee County Emergency Communications Management Board has a recommendation for the county's new emergency 911 radio system provider.
It is Motorola.
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The Shawnee County Commission will be asked Thursday to grant the sheriff's office authority to negotiate a contract with the company.
The bid came in at $9,034,085 over 11 years. Its competitor, Cassidian, bid $10,353,733 for 10 years.
Total costs for the duration of the contract are expected to be about $14 million, according to a memo from county counselor Rich Eckert. However, Sheriff Richard Barta wants to add another $1 million onto the contract to "cover real property acquisition, security and roads for new tower sites," the memo reads.
It adds that the county likely will be able to reduce that cost during negotiations.
Local officials have been looking at acquiring a digital public safety radio system to replace the 15-year-old, 800-megahertz analog system currently used by all law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical responders within Shawnee County.
The cost of signing with Motorola through the state contract was estimated in February 2011 to be $17.9 million.
On Thursday, the commission also will consider a request from Barta to approve step increases for lieutenants, captains and majors. The raises would total $87,439.44, including benefits, and would be absorbed into the 2012 budget.
In the memo, Barta notes that staff personnel haven't received a salary increase since 2009, while union members have continued to see pay raises. He requests that, in the future, staff salaries increase the same percentage as union workers.
Barta also notes that even with the proposed increases, sheriff staff pay will be "considerably less" than staff at the Topeka Police Department. Topeka lieutenants receive $91,000 a year, he wrote, compared to the $73,000 a lieutenant in his office will be paid with the adjustment.
In the memo, Barta states that he has met with each of the commissioners individually and in an executive session regarding the request.
Receipt of the salary request is part of the commission's consent agenda, which typically is passed without debate.
Also on the commission's consent agenda is notification that both treasurer's offices will be closed May 1 through at least May 9 so the state can install its new motor vehicle system.
The commission will consider:
- Request from the Kansas Expocentre for $13,914 to purchase new equipment to comply with the Federal Communications Commission narrow banding requirements. The organization is recommending the contract be awarded to TBS Electronics, which bid $244 less than TFMComm. The money would deplete the Kansas Expocentre Capital Expenditure to $122,191.37.
- Two truck repair costs from the Solid Waste Department totaling $6,628.81.
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