Published On: Wed, Feb 22nd, 2012

County is looking for new 911 equipment

HARTINGTON —  Cedar County Commissioners are looking at purchasing a generator for the Courthouse Complex and installing a new E911 system for the county.

Emergency Management Director/911 Coordinator Kevin Garvin assisted board members in opening bids for the projects during the Feb. 14 Commission meeting.

The bids that were opened for the E911 equipment came in between $120,000 and $160,000.

The bids for the project came in lower than expected according to Garvin.

The new system will be paid for from monies collected from the E911 surcharge which is done on cell phones and land line telephones.

“The system we have now is at the end of life, parts are not available – should it fail,” Garvin said. “It also will not handle the Next Generation 911 services that are coming in the future.”

The equipment which is used to record all telephone and radio traffic for 911 also needs to be replaced according to Garvin.

Garvin will need some time to evaluate the bids because of the technical nature of the proposals and the differences between vendors.

Garvin will be reviewing bids with 911 coordinators from Knox and Dixon counties.

“All three counties will get together and review the bids in detail,” Garvin said. “We are all hoping that we can continue to have the same brand/model of E911 equipment in each of the three counties although each county will evaluate the bids and choose what system best meets the needs of their county.”

A decision on which bid Cedar County will accept will be made at the next Commission meeting.

Cedar County is going after funds from a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant to help with the purchase of the generator.

Bids were opened on a generator which would be used at the Courthouse Complex in case of a power outage.

Schmitz Electric out of O’Neill had the low bid for installation and Cummins Central Power out of Omaha submitted the low bid for the generator with a total bid of $152,910.

The bids were accepted pending grant approval.

A lot of paperwork, regulations, and studies will need to be completed before a generator can be installed.

The electrical contractor will need to submit a preliminary work plan to the Fire Marshall’s Office for initial approval.

Once all the approvals regarding fire, electrical and building codes are complete the information and figures will be incorporated into the grant application.

The application will have to be approved at both the state and federal level according to Garvin.

“If everything goes according to schedule it could take a month to get the code approvals, another two months for the state review of the grant application by NEMA and the Governor’s Task Force,” Garvin said. “If it clears all the State of Nebraska approvals it goes on to FEMA which will take another four months to review the application and conduct further environmental review.”

If Cedar County is awarded a grant it could take up to two months or more for the generator to be delivered.

Garvin said it could be November or December 2012 before the project comes to fruition.