Sheriff’s office getting update

Published 6:29 pm Sunday, April 26, 2015

WINDSOR – When Bertie County Schools vacate their current administration offices at 222 County Farm Road in Windsor and the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office takes over the building, county law enforcement will be getting a communications upgrade.

The county should close on the $150,000 purchase of the facility in late June or early July, by which time the school system should have completed their move to their new administration offices located at the old Bertie High School on US-13 North.

“As we make preparations for the Sheriff’s Department’s relocation, one of the logistical tasks would be the connectivity for the fiber-optics,” said County Manager Scott Sauer.

At their second April monthly meeting, the Board of Commissioners voted to accept the option of the county itself handling the installation of fiber optic wiring at the facility and its subsequent connectivity.  The cost on that option, for 10 years, would be a one-time fee of $61,870 with no recurring charges.

Sauer said funding for the installation and connectivity would come from the county’s Telephone fund.

The other options that were explored included a bid of $102,717 from MCNC, a Research Triangle-based technology non-profit that builds, owns, and operates a leading-edge broadband infrastructure for North Carolina’s research, education, non-profit health care, and other community institutions; and, a $220,348 bid for a stand-alone facility from CenturyLink – both bids for a 10-year period, but with recurring costs attached leading to their totals.

While the old County Schools offices used copper wiring, fiber optic wiring – which transmits information from one place to another by sending pulses of light through an optical fiber, the light then forming an electromagnetic carrier wave that’s modulated to carry information – will greatly increase the speed of communication for the Sheriff’s office’s telephones, data lines, and 911 communication.

“Our Information Technology (IT) staff headed by Scott Pearce had worked up quotes with three different options and the lowest cost option was the one the Board opted with,” said Sauer.

Sauer further said there’s a six-month lead time on purchasing the fiber because it’s in such high demand all across the company.  He added that the fiber will be purchased separately and a contractor will handle the installation.

“The IT staff has worked these fiber extensions on a couple of other occasions,” Sauer noted. “They ran a line out to the Social Services Building several years ago.  They also run lines to the Board of Elections building, the Council on Aging, and the Recreation Department; so they’ve got a lot of experience on fiber-optic network installation.”