LUMBERTON — The Lumberton City Council on Wednesday gave the city’s Emergency Services Department the green light to update equipment at the 911 center.
“It will be next-generation compatible which means as technology keeps improving, we’ll be able to advance along with it,” said Mitchell Pate, the department’s director.
Pate asked the council, meeting as the Council Policy Committee, to approve a bid to replace the 911 center’s four outdated consoles, which control the center’s radio system. The work stations, each equipped with multiple computers and monitors, were installed in 2005.
The approved bid from Amerizon Wireless includes an up-front cost of $167,500 for the Motorola MCC-5500 and an annual maintenance fee of $13,920.00. The money will come from the 911 Fund.
Replacing the consoles will allow the 911 center to add a 800 MHz channel that is currently used by the county’s rescue units.
Pate said the rescue units currently dispatch on the same channel Lumberton’s 911 center uses, but once they arrive on a scene, switch to the 800 MHz channel to communicate with the hospital and others involved in the rescue.
“We’ll be able to hear everything,” Pate said.
The council also voted in favor of upgrading the system the center uses to route emergency and administrative calls. The center uses Windows XP, which is no longer supported by Microsoft. Pate asked to update the center’s AT&T Viper 911 Controller to Windows 7 at a cost of $30,356.00 with a monthly maintenance cost of $1,613. The money will also come from the 911 Fund.
The council gave Police Chief Michael McNeill approval to apply for a $41,073 Justice Assistance Grant. If the grant is secured, $6,073 would go towards training, $14,000 towards overtime wages and $21,000 towards the purchase of Mobile Data Terminals, which allow officers to view jail records, arrest warrants and vehicle registration information.
In other business, the council:
— Approved population and employment projections for Lumberton in 2040. The projections will be used as the state Department of Transportation and city staff develop a Comprehensive Transportation Plan for the city.
— Voted to adopt an ordinance replacing traffic lights at the intersection of Chestnut and 10th streets with stops signs for the purpose of traffic control and pedestrian safety.
— Voted to allow the Lumberton Fire Department to continue to provide fire protection for Alamac American Knits, which is located outside of city limits on Alamac Road, for an annual fee of $13,687.43. The one-year contract is effective July 1.
— Approved new fees for debt collection letters. DataMax Corporation dba Interstate Credit Collections agreed to lower fees for sending debt collection letters to delinquent commercial accounts from $8.50 per account to $4.75 on the condition that the accounts are not forwarded to the North Carolina Clearinghouse for collection. The fee for consumer accounts remains at $8.50.
— Approved the purchase of three tandem dump trucks for the Public Works Department at a total cost of $295,696.08, which has already been designated from a Water and Sewer loan.
— Approved a change order for the Tanglewood Sewer Rehabilitation Project, deducting $134,334.06 from the current contract price, bringing the final contract price to about $1.8 million. The change order will allow the city to be reimbursed for the project by the state.
— Approved a request from Eric Bever for permits to put up signs for Southeastern Health Park on Dawn Drive.
— Approved a request from Joel Benjamin Gonzalez Lopez to rezone property at 3000 E. Elizabethtown Road from residential to business in order to build a store. The request will be sent to the Planning Board for further review.
— Adopted a resolution clarifying the terms of those serving on the ABC Board. A state auditor had said the terms, which are staggered, were unclear.
— Voted to designate $500 in Community Revitalization Funds to Community Day in Precinct 5; $100 to Lumbee Homes for computer classes; and $200 to Sandy Grove Baptist Church for daycare services.
— Voted to allow the Inspections Department to demolish unsafe structures at 22 Canal St. and 2400 Kenny Biggs Road.
— Voted in favor of awarding a four-year contract to attorney Mark Bardill to perform tax foreclosures for the city.