Porter County will
share costs for a new Motorola computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system with
Chesterton, Porter, Valparaiso, and Portage.
The Porter County
Board of Commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU)
outlining how the County will share those costs at its meeting Tuesday,
contingent on funding from the four communities.
The new CAD system
is the last piece of the puzzle to bring the County’s updated 911 Center
up-to-date, according to Commissioner Jeff Good (R-Center) and 911 Director
Tony Stua. The new system will have better capabilities, including better
location information for first responders, and will hopefully put Porter
County 911 in a position to set the benchmark for other agencies, Stua said.
Scott McClure said the four communities have been involved in the MOU
process and Motorola was their unanimous pick for the new system. The County
has not yet signed a master agreement with Motorola, and the system is at
least 16 months away from being built-out, he said.
The agreement with
Motorola will cost $4.5 million, or about $505,000 a year, over its 10-year
life. The County’s portion of the payment each year for the Sheriff’s
Department, Jail, and 911 Center’s use of the system and a portion of its
maintenance will be $365,000, according to McClure. Portage’s annual share
will be $59,000, Valparaiso’s will be $51,000, and Porter’s $12,600. The
Town of Chesterton has opted to make its payments up front and only pay for
maintenance annually, McClure said, so Chesterton’s first bill will be
$165,000 and their ongoing costs only $12,800 annually.
In other business,
the Commissioners approved COVID-19 claims totaling just over $40,000 so
Porter County Auditor Vicki Urbanik can submit them to the state for
reimbursement. Porter County can be reimbursed for up to $5.5 million is
pandemic related expenses, through funding distributed to state governments
as part of the federal CARES Act.
Urbanik has been
following specific guidelines from the State Board of Accounts for tracking
the County’s COVID-19-related expenses, and reported the County just
received its first reimbursement check of $121,000. The expenses reimbursed
so far include testing and personal protective equipment (PPE) for County
employees, Urbanik said.
The Board approved
a $13,000 transfer from hourly wages to event expenses for the Expo Center
so Director Lori Daly can issue no-fault refunds for event cancellations.
Many events have been rescheduled for next year instead of cancelled, she
introduced the County’s new IT Director Eric Serrano. Serrano said he’s been
in IT for over 20 years and has experience with consulting and cybersecurity
as well as previous experience as an IT director.