Costs for dispatch system higher than expected

Carson City's much-debated new computer dispatch system is turning out to be more expensive than city officials thought.

Sheriff's Sgt. Jack Freer, who sits on the city committee dealing with the dispatch system negotations, said the original quoted cost of $550,000 for the new system has gone up as high as $766,000. Negotations are still under way, he said, and while the last quote from Tiburon, the company supplying the preferred dispatch system, was around $689,000, Freer said he expects to have a solid quote by Friday.

"For the last several weeks, we've been reviewing the Tiburon contract and their pricing sheets," Freer said. "We've been going over the language, taking out items we don't need and putting in a few items that are necessary. There have been four revisions to the contract."

Freer said several items have been added to and removed from the contract that have changed the estimated cost of the system. The cost of extra software, such as a records management system, is not included in the cost of the basic system. Freer said the city plans to do a phased approach to add necessary extra's. The city has a budget of $932,000 for the new system.

Freer said considering the amount of information committee members have had to delve into regarding the system, negotations are moving along as fast as possible. The city committee had hoped to present the full contract to the Board of Supervisors by mid-July, but Freer said that date has been pushed into the beginning of September. He said if the contract is approved in September, Tiburon officials can begin installing the system in October and dispatch personnel can move into their new office in South Carson City by the beginning of March.

"For the people involved and the amount of data we have, we're coming along," Freer said. "We're working with consultants, and we're not their only customer. We need to get this along as soon as possible, though."

The city paid $12,752 for Emmack Cronan Group, Inc. from Reno to help negotiate the Tiburon contract.

Information Services Director Bill Naylor said in June that the city hired the group to make sure the city gets the system it wants.

Which computer system to buy for the city's new $600,000 dispatch center building created a heated battle in January between computer users and those monitoring the costs of buying a new system. The argument centered around two systems, HTE being a cheaper system and Tiburon being more expensive but preferred by dispatch personnel. Supervisors ultimately approved the dispatcher's choice.

The purchase of the new system was never in dispute. Which system to purchase and its price tag, however, caused a huge rift between city personnel, the mayor and board of supervisors.

Dispatch personnel work with antiquated equipment in a converted shed at the sheriff's office and have argued that public safety is a stake if a new system isn't put in immediately.


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