Wednesday, September 16, 2015

E-911 Board picks $40K consultant

The Knox County E-911 Board on Tuesday agreed to pay a consultant almost $40,000 to determine the best direction to take its emergency radio system.

The move comes after months of debate that started when a selection committee picked Harris Communications and then the board refused to award the company a $9 million contract.

Instead, a number of members suggested the county should stick with Motorola Solutions, which has served the E-911 Center for more than 25 years.

Then members started talking about joining a state-operated system, so in April they sought out a consultant to determine if that was the right course. The problem? The company officials picked wanted additional work and roughly $225,000 more than the center was ready to provide.

So, back to the drawing board, and on Tuesday a new consultant – Blue Wing Inc. out of Pennsylvania – was picked out of eight companies that submitted proposals.

The 911-Board will pay Blue Wing $39,725. The firm has roughly 30 days to come up with its recommendation for the board, which meets again Oct. 21.

“In reading (Blue Wing’s) proposal, it seems like they’re doing exactly what it is that we need,” said Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, a board member.

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