Dickinson OKs 911 acquisitions


News Editor

IRON MOUNTAIN – Dickinson County has approved purchases for equipment, goods and services totaling nearly $420,000 for installation of a new 911 emergency dispatch system at the correctional center.

Most of the spending will go to Motorola Solutions of Schaumburg, Ill., with the county board Monday authorizing $336,337 for a console upgrade. The Motorola purchase is through a state procurement program, although funding is from the county.

The current console is more than 21 years old and at least six years beyond its design life. The 911 upgrade will be financed through the sale of $500,000 in revenue bonds, with payment guaranteed through a three-year, 0.4-mill levy approved by voters in February.

The millage will generate an estimated $375,000 in its first year, 2013.

Commissioner Ann Martin said this important project is being conducted “in response to the public’s willingness” to fund it.

Other 911 purchases authorized Monday were:

– A recorder upgrade from Van Belkum of Grand Rapids, $31,974.

– 911 station from Intrado of Longmont, Colo., $21,561.

– Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) station from Open Software Solutions Inc. of Greensboro, N.C., $9,114.

– Provision and installation of data and fiber cable, Van Ert Electric of Kingsford, $5,995.

– Provision and installation of remote air conditioning for the computer room, Valley Mechanical Inc. of Menominee, $4,920.

– Installation of low-maintenance vinyl flooring and removal of carpeting, Northern Carpets of Kingsford, $3,784.

– Services to move the VIPER (Voice over Internet Protocol for Emergency Response) system, D S Tech of Escanaba, $3,000.

– Installation of outlets and other electrical improvements, Midway Electric of Iron Mountain, $2,917.

In each case, purchases were awarded to the low bidder, or to the only vendor who could supply the needed equipment or service.

Overseeing the project is Pete Schlitt, the county’s deputy director of emergency services.

The county must yet solicit bids for console positions and a phone system.

Sheriff Scott Celello has been authorized to oversee and monitor professional services for moving radios and the main computer server for the sheriff’s office.

In other action Monday, the county board:

– Directed Controller Nicole Frost, Prosecuting Attorney Lisa Richards and Chairman Henry Wender to decide whether to accept an offer from Integrys Energy Services of Ann Arbor to replace We Energies as the electrical power market supplier for the correctional center, Ford Airport and Northern Lights YMCA. Integrys representative Julie Cowling estimated the county’s annual savings at $14,000 or more. Because a cap will soon be reached on the amount of power that can be shifted within the region, the deadline for a decision is Thursday, Cowling said. If necessary, a special meeting of the board will be scheduled to further review the offer.

– Heard Wender report that the Dickinson County Road Commission has dropped the idea of requesting five-year terms for road commission members. Currently, the terms are three years.

– Noted an effort to inform and warn Lake Antoine campers and others that while consumer fireworks (bottle rockets, etc.) are legal in Michigan, they may not be used on public property.

Jim Anderson’s email address is