County hires firm to oversee 911 center upgrades

by Kate Shunney

The Morgan County Commission last week chose a Jane Lew firm to oversee planned upgrades to the county’s E911 equipment and its new center.

Communication Consulting Services, run by Joe Gonzalez, will charge the county $15,000 to help prepare project bids, track FCC requirements for new communications equipment and guide the county’s team working on the improvements.

Morgan County 911 will be equipped with new computer-aided dispatch software and dispatching terminals, upgraded phone and radio equipment. Once the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department moves to its new home at the former Dr. Hashem’s medical office behind Food Lion, the county’s 911 center will move into the current Sheriff’s Department space.

County Administrator Stefanie Allemong said the goal is for the 911 center to be in place in February or March.

Allemong said the county got a second quote for project management services. Ganoe Communications said it would charge the county $70 per hour for oversight services, but didn’t give an estimate for how many hours would be needed over the next six to eight months to move and equip the center. According to Allemong, Ganoe could also bid on some of the equipment work needed, creating a potential conflict of interest for that company.

The county has worked with both firms in the process of upgrading its emergency radio system several years ago.