Chesterton Tribune



Porter County will share communities' 911 dispatch system costs

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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.

County Attorney 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.

COVID-19 Reimbursement

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.

Other Business

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 reported.

The Board 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.



Posted 9/4/2020




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