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Ahoskie approves E-911 bid

AHOSKIE – Sprint won the bid, but the biggest winners are the residents of Ahoskie.

Last week, Ahoskie’s Town Council awarded Sprint’s bid package of a shade over $300,000 to upgrade the Ahoskie Police Department’s dispatch system to full E-911 compliance.

The enhanced system will improve response times by emergency units (fire and police). It is also capable of providing those responders with more accurate addresses as well as advanced notice of possible special situations police and/or firemen may encounter upon their arrival.

Ahoskie’s elected leaders knew the price tag would be steep for such an upgrade in technology. They had budgeted $150,000 for the new system. The remaining money will be taken from the town’s E-911 fund balance, one that has grown larger over the years thanks to a monthly surcharge Sprint customers pay for E-911 service.

For their money, Ahoskie will receive two E-911 controllers with SIMON workstations. Having two stations will prove vital in handling increased demands for assistance in the event of a hurricane or other weather-related disaster.

In addition, a CAD (Computer Aid Dispatch) system will be installed. This device includes updated street maps, ones helping to direct emergency responders faster and more accurately.

An Orbacom Radio Dispatch System is also part of the package, as are two years of maintenance and computer support on each component.

The total package amounts to $302,068.41. The town was required to budget a portion of the money due to E-911 fund balance regulations that do not allow certain items, including radios, to be purchased with that money.

In other action taken on Tuesday by the Ahoskie Town Council:

** Were introduced to Chad Wheeler, a new police officer hired by the town.

** Recognized Eric Whitmeyer of the Ahoskie Fire Department as the town’s Employee of the Month for May.

** Okayed a resolution of appreciation for Bryan Lewis, Ahoskie’s retiring Public Works Director.

** Set a 10 a.m. meeting on June 29 to formally adopt the town’s 2005-06 budget, one that does not include any tax increase.

** Approved a Level 2 corporate membership for up to 35 town employees to join the Viquest Center at reduced rates.

** Agreed to an $87,000 proposal ($40,000 coming via grant funds) for smoke testing and manhole inspection of the town’s sewer system.

** Approved a three-year renewal with GDS to continue its residential and commercial garbage collections.

** Okayed a measure that affords the town an opportunity to sell surplus items through the GovDeals website.