[Nameplate] Partly Cloudy ~ 68°F  
High: 82°F ~ Low: 61°F
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Council approves 911 upgrade

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

SIKESTON -- Sikeston's aged E-911 system will get a complete overhaul.

During the regular City Council meeting Monday, council members awarded the bid to upgrade the city's E-911 with installation of VOIP to AT&T, the sole vendor for this particular system, at a total cost of $853,121.05. The quote include maintenance, software and all training.

"Our 911 system is in need of replacement," said Drew Juden, director of the Sikeston Department of Public Safety.

The existing system is antiquated, according to Juden, and its operating platform is no longer supported by Microsoft.

Juden said the system has recently failed twice -- on July 7 for over an hour and a half and on July 9 after which one dispatching station was down for 8-10 days.

The new system will use Voice over Internet Protocol technology and two telephony servers, enabling DPS to replicate the dispatching center at another site if something happens at DPS headquarters, Juden said.

"It will be a lot easier to maintain and fix," he said.

The upgrade will also include replacing the city's administrative phone system which currently is made up of several different types of phone equipment.

The total cost of the 911 portion of the project is about $464,000 and includes records management, computer aided dispatching and 911 call receivers and transfer.

The cost to upgrade the telephone system will add approximately $300,000.

As revenue from the 911 surcharge has dropped about $1,200 per month from what it started at due to people dropping land line service for cellular service, staff has recommended keeping the monthly payment for the upgrade at $11,000 or under so it stays below the full amount of 911 revenue collected every month.

With $240,000 in reserves, city staff anticipate using $100,000 of this for a down payment along with $40,000 of capital improvement funds from the general government portion of the city budget. This $40,000 will be the only money that will not come from the 911 surcharge revenue.

This will leave a balance of $713,121.05 to finance over seven years with payments to begin in January. As the current contract expires in October, there will be a couple of months of 911 revenue to build up the 911 fund with no payments during this period.

Juden said he hopes to have the new system up and running within 60 to 90 days.