“The issues that have come up were internal, but it could have grown to external issues had we not taken action,” he said.
Phone lines have been going down periodically on the system now in use, installed in 2002. Collett said the problems are occurring with one or two lines at a time.
Compounding the issues, the phone system and the parts needed for repairs are no longer manufactured.
“We were having to call all over the country trying to find parts,” Collett said, adding that parts were often expensive when they were located.
County commissioners voted at Tuesday’s meeting to award the contract for a new phone service to Motorola at a total cost of $395,130. Carousel Industries also bid for the services, coming in at $395,054.
“Motorola has been very responsive to any need we’ve had, their product is top quality, but the most important thing is that when we’ve needed them, they’ve been on site, and they’ve stayed on site until the problem was fixed,” Collett said, adding that the county has worked with the company for several years.
The new phone system will be installed in the next two to three months, according to Collett.
“When they put in the new system, they’ll take the old down one line at a time, and the public will never even know the transition is taking place,” he said.
While the public should notice no change in service, Collett said the transition should make things “a lot less stressful” for E-9-1-1 staff and add the latest technology.
“The last thing we want to do is miss a 9-1-1 call because of faulty equipment. Basically, to do anything other than to buy a new system would have been irresponsible,” he said.
At the Tuesday meeting, commissioners also:
* Approved minutes from meetings held Oct. 16;
* Held a public hearing on removing a clause that requires private or parochial schools to occupy at least five acres in commercial districts;
* Held a public hearing on a proposed addendum to the zoning of the Etowah River Tract;
* Discussed posting an Open Records Request log on the county’s website;
* Appointed Tom Ware, Jeff Duncan and Troy Welker to the Resource Recovery Development Authority;
* Discussed appointments to the Cherokee County Development Authority, the Development Authority of Cherokee County, the Board of Ethics and the Cemetery Preservation Committee;
* Considered topics for a meeting with the state delegation on Dec. 6 and for the BOC retreat in January;
* Approved the acceptance of a donation of five 12-lead cardiac monitors from Northside Hospital Cherokee for use by Fire and Emergency Services;
* Voted to surplus and dispose of furniture and equipment from the Cherokee Recreation and Parks Agency and Juvenile Court;
* Approved public rights-of-way, roadways and drainage structures in the Woodmont Subdivision Unit 14A;
* Approved a partnership agreement between Cherokee County and the Cherokee County Board of Education regarding programs and volunteer opportunities at the Cherokee County Animal Shelter;
* Accepted a grant award of $134,591 for the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit Drug Accountability Court;
* Approved an amendment to a professional services agreement with SiteMed, Inc., which will raise the price of firefighter physicals from $245 to $255 after the first 21 physicals;
* Agreed to exchange 14 acres of county-owned land for a 16.179-acre parcel owned by Karen Cash adjacent to the Cherokee County Airport;
* Approved the 2013 Annual Action Plan (grant application) in the amount of $813,777 for submittal to the U.S. Department of Urban development as a prerequisite to receiving Community Development Block Grant Funds;
* Approved a Georgia Emergency Management Agency Performance Partnership Agreement grant in the amount of $64,304;
* Approved a Towne Lake Residential Owners Association proposal for a new subdivision sign at the intersection of Towne Lake Parkway and Bells Ferry Road, and sign and landscape easements along the frontage of Hobgood Park;
* Adopted the 2012 Cherokee County Capital Improvement Element and Short-Term Work Program annual update;
* Approved a change order to the construction agreement with New South Construction Company, Inc., in an amount not to exceed $30,000 for construction of a retaining wall and an increase in lawn area for the aquatic center;
* Approved an indigent burial policy;
* Awarded Motorola, Inc., a professional services agreement in the amount of $395,130 for the replacement of the county’s E-911 telephone system; and
* Adopted a tax levy resolution by the Cherokee County School District.