By April, city dispatchers should be operating from their new center with new equipment.
Carson City supervisors approved Thursday a $932,500 contract with vendor Tiburon which will bring the city modern dispatch equipment.
"This has been a lot more painless than I suspected it might be back in December," said District Attorney Noel Waters.
"I think the contract defends Carson City's interest in this project. Tiburon has been around since 1980, they serve an awful lot of public safety agencies nationwide. Our bargaining power isn't as big as it would be if we were, say, New York City, but the work is sufficiently detailed. I feel comfortable with it," he said.
Tiburon has until April 27 to install the system in the city's new $600,000 dispatch center in South Carson City.
"As you are well aware, this is only part of the ultimate project," Waters said.
While the city's new dispatch system will function on its own, additional work will be needed to allow information to be shared more efficiently between the sheriff's and district attorney's offices, records management and jail management systems. They are estimated to cost around $898,500.
"This is just the head end of the system," Mayor Ray Masayko said. "We are only going ahead with the 911-dispatch. We can't predict the future, and the other pieces aren't small ticket items. Everything else will have to compete with other needs. We have to face and make those decisions somewhere down the line."
Sheriff's Sgt. Jack Freer, head of a committee dealing with the dispatch system, said he hoped to begin negotiations for the records management package within six months after the dispatch system is installed.
"We feel really good that we've got to this point," Freer said. "Now we've got to go through the process to get the center running."
Communications personnel have been working out of a converted shed behind the sheriff's office for years. Communications Director Laura Cadot said she and other dispatchers were relieved at the culmination of three years work.
"This has been a public safety issue," Cadot said. "It needs to be done. It's sad to say, but it's long overdue.
"The reality is the real work starts for us now. There is a major change on our horizon. Our comfort level will be completely unbalanced as we get ready for the move."
The system was originally estimated to cost $550,000, but will end up costing $707,746. A 15 percent contingency of $106,162 is added to the cost of the new system as well as $97,275 in consulting, training and extra hardware costs bring the total for the new system to $911,183 - just over $21,000 short of the system's $932,000 budget.
Masayko asked that supervisors receive a status report every 45 days on the system's installation.
"There may be some bumps in the road between now and (April 27), but our expectation is that implementation will go smoothly," Masayko said. "All we're asking is that we get early notice that something is glitched if it reaches that point."
The dispatch project was created after a December confrontation between computer users and administrators. Supervisor Kay Bennett told city workers gathered at the meeting that she expected them to work together on the system's implementation.
"I hope I see a lot of nodding heads here when I say that I expect staff to be full partners to help this project succeed," Bennett said. "It is you folks who are going to have to make the system perform. The board and the community are looking to you to perform."