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Elgin council eyes $12.8 million for public safety, communications

Michael Smart | Staff Photographer ElgPolice Sgt. Matt Udelhoven checks out driver's informatiafter puller over vehicle for having radio too

Michael Smart | Staff Photographer Elgin Police Sgt. Matt Udelhoven checks out the driver's information after puller over the vehicle for having the radio too loud. If the officer can hear one's music 75 feet away, in addition to a ticket, the vehicle will be towed and searched. Plus their is a no-nonsense, zero-tolerance approach where no warnings will be issued. 6/6/09

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Updated: January 5, 2013 6:15AM

ELGIN — The city council is set to move along significant expenditures for public safety improvements at its Wednesday meeting.

This largest of those would be awarding a $12.8 million contract to Schaumburg-based Motorola Solutions, Inc. for new communications systems and equipment.

The purchase would replace a radio system from 1995 for which replacement parts are no longer being made; 911 emergency communications center systems from 2005 that have a backup system from 1995; and the system responsible for alerting fire personnel to calls for service while in and out of their stations.

Assistant City Manager Rick Kozal said Monday that the market is such that the current bid for all three is less than what it would have cost to replace just the radio system two years ago.

According to supporting material for the meeting, Motorola Solutions was the only company to submit a bid for the project. Motorola is proposing that the city utilize the statewide Starcom21 P25 interoperable radio system, which will allow Elgin’s public safety departments to communicate with other agencies throughout Illinois.

Payment for the systems is planned to come from the proposed 2013 general fund, using general obligation bonds with a 10-year term that will be issued this coming spring. Thus, awarding the contract is contingent upon the adoption of the 2013 city budget, which is set to be approved Dec. 14.

The arrangement also includes a $1.1 million contingency fund set up through the city’s Emergency Telephone Safety Board, with the money to be used if unforeseen circumstances snag putting the new systems in place.

Ambulances on way

The council Wednesday also is scheduled to discuss awarding a contract to Northwest Indiana-based Fire Service, Inc. to purchase four Wheeled Coach-brand ambulances for more than $592,000 in a deal which includes trade-ins and using a recent bid for equipment made by another Illinois city.

According to supporting material for the meeting, Rockford’s fire department issued a request for proposals in September, with eight bids received, and wound up awarding Fire Service, Inc. a contract in November for Wheeled Coach ambulances — the brand Elgin has bought for its last five ambulances.

Rockford’s agreement allows other towns to jointly purchase under the contract for $152,081 per vehicle, with the four ambulances EFD wants totaling $608,324. The city will be receiving a credit of $16,000 for trading in two ambulances, reducing the total purchase price to $592,324, the supporting material states. The other two ambulances, estimated to be worth a combined $19,000, will be used as non-emergency vehicles in the public works and police departments.

Kozal said piggy-backing on the Rockford request allows Elgin to take advantage of lower costs available for larger purchases. Kozal said some of the ambulances have a small amount of mileage on them and/or are spec models, allowing for further savings.

Two of the purchases will replace ambulances that went into service in 2003. The third purchase replaces an ambulance activated in 2004. The fourth purchase will replace an ambulance that has been operating since 2006. If approved by the council, the department should have the vehicles in about five months.

Purchasing new vehicles for non-emergency functions in the police and public works department would have been a much more expensive option for the city.

Money for the ambulances would come from the proposed 2013 casino fund and, like the communications purchases, is contingent upon the adoption of the 2013 city budget scheduled to be approved Dec. 14.

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