911 contract to save county money

Cailey Moore
Staff Writer

During the November 17 Pocahontas County Commission meeting, 911 Director Mike O’Brien appeared before the commission with a request to enter into a maintenance contract with Staley Communications.

Up until a few weeks ago, the 911 Center had been in contract with Lloyd’s Electronics, but an increasing amount of service issues led O’Brien to terminate the agreement.

“They [Lloyd’s Electronics] charged us $7,500.25 to basically be on retainer in case we had a problem with our equipment,” O’Brien explained. “That retainer really didn’t provide us with much, other than a once a year preventative maintenance trip over here. When they came, we had to pay milage plus hourly rate, and the maintenance contract was Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. We weren’t really gaining anything.”

After communicating with other 911 centers in the state, O’Brien received positive feedback about Staley Communications. Further inquiries led O’Brien to discover that the company – new to West Virginia – held maintenance agreements with 911 centers in nine different counties, as well as with Snowshoe.

“I would like permission to enter into a contract with Staley Communications,” O’Brien requested. “They have agreed to do a 24/7, 365-day maintenance contract with us. That includes mileage, hourly rate and a tech made available any time we need him – day or night.”

Additionally, Staley Communications is willing to service Pocahontas County’s 911 Center for quarterly increments of $3,285 – which would save the county $17,220 a year – compared to the $30,360 a year spent under the former maintenance contract.

“It’s a better deal,” O’Brien said. “We’re getting 24/7 maintenance services for $13,140 a year.”

Staley Communications’ fee was not the only aspect of the company that impressed O’Brien. When contacted about a possible contract, the company had radio engineers travel to the county to spend the day examining the 911 center’s radio equipment.

“We went to all the tower sites,” he explained, “and looked at all of our equipment. They took note of what equipment we had and made some suggestions that they wanted to go back and do some engineering work to see what they could do to better our 911 center’s system.”

The commission authorized O’Brien to enter into a maintenance contract with Staley Communications in the total amount of $13,140 per year, which automatically renews with a 30 day provision for cancellation.

In other news:

  • Following a closed executive session, the commission approved Tim Sayre as a full-time Bailiff/Process Server, effective November 18. Tammie Alderman presented the Pocahontas County Day Report Center’s monthly update.
  • West Virginia Interactive representative Will Smith presented two proposals to streamline tax payments in the county. The first proposal would allow offices under the commission to pass credit card processing fees onto card users. West Virginia Interactive would provide the credit card swipers and training to the county for free, and the system would accept all major credit cards.

    The second proposal would allow Smith to set up a software system that would allow rental property owners to pay Hotel/Motel taxes online. The commission expressed interest in Smith’s proposals but tabled the discussion until they could research the proposals further.

  • The commission agreed to contribute $3,500 to the Marlinton Depot project, contingent upon receiving a copy of the organization’s 501(c)(3) documentation.

The next regular County Commission meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 1 at 8:30 a.m.

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