Commissioners continue work on dispatch merger

By Kelsey Kimbler -

EATON — Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson recently submitted a request for proposals for Records Management Software to the Preble County Commissioners. During a meeting on Monday, Feb. 12, officials read a letter from Simpson asking for permission to enter into contract negotiations with Zuercher Technologies.

The commissioners voted to approve Simpson’s request, with added language to seek additional information.

This is part of the ongoing dispatch merger between the City of Eaton and Preble County.

The last time commissioners discussed the records management RFP with Zuercher Technologies, there were some questions on whom would be responsible for purchasing licenses, Preble County or the City of Eaton. There were also questions regarding maintenance and updates.

According to Commission Clerk Connie Crowell, in the Zuercher RFP they have spelled out the cost of each service by county and city, except for the maintenance, which is not explicitly stated.

She asked the board if they would want to know that information, stating she believed they would want to know before proceeding with the agreement.

“Basically, is it spelled out enough that we know what is county and what is city?” Commission President Chris Day asked.

Commission Administrative Assistant Kim Keller answered, “For the actual set up of it and for the city to have access to the records and to use that system set up at the sheriff’s office, yes. They broke out the cost for the licenses for the Eaton Police Department to be able to access the records system while they are out on patrol. Then they have to have the separate site licenses, which is what the Sheriff talked about for the other villages — they would have to have a separate site license.

“They also have to have a separate license to be able to use the LEADS and NCIC access that is given to the Sheriff with the records system. That is not unusual either. Usually police departments are responsible for their own LEADS agreement and the prosecutor has a separate one.”

However, the maintenance part is not broken out. Keller stated they were given a lump sum, that included maintenance on the hardware. The maintenance fees are covered for the first year, but after that there is one price listed starting for year two. This amount does include the license.

“It is clear throughout the whole thing that this is a yearly thing. You can continue using it as long as you continue to pay,” Keller said.

“So, there is no above and beyond with that, but we do not know how much is ours and how much is theirs with that,” Commissioner Denise Robertson said.

“We need to get clarification on that,” Day said. “Basically we would need a detailed subscription cost for annual licensing for maintenance and support for years two through five.”

Crowell read the letter from Simpson asking for permission to enter into contract negotiations. Commissioner Rodney Creech made a motion, with added verbiage to seek additional information.

“I would like it noted that this $286,000 that we are paying for this conversion is money that the city is saving, because they are not going to be paying for it on their own. I just want everyone to realize that this is money the city would have had to pay,” Robertson said.

Commissioner Creech countered that the $286,000 was for both the city and the county. So, the City of Eaton is actually being saved $271,000.

“We are saving the City of Eaton $270,000 because we are combining services. Instead of having two systems, we have just one. That is exactly why we needed this merger,” Creech said.

Denise said, “If we were on two different paths, this is money that they would have to pay. Because we are only on one path to dump it all on the county, it is our cost.”

“That is good. That is what mergers are about,” Creech said.

“You also have to take in consideration that they are paying upfront money to get this done, so they are investing into the agreement also,” Day said.

Creech added, “It is good to see some substantial savings up front. That is huge.”

In other news, the commissioners:

•Approved a letter to the Budget Commission requesting them to waive the tax budget for Preble County for 2019. Crowell explained that it is normally held in July.

“That basically would waive the requirement that all the entities put in their best guess of next year’s budget,” Commission President Chris Day explained. “I don’t mean to make light of it, but we’re guessing now to see where we’re at. In my opinion, it is a waste of time.”

Commissioner Denise Robertson added, “I think everyone agrees with you.”

•Noted receipt and considered approval of a bid recommendation from the Preble County Engineer to award the bid for the seven pre-stressed box beams for Quaker Trace Road Project to Prestress Services Industries, LLC.

•Approved the 2018 Crack Seal project agreement with J&A Construction Inc., at a cost of $87,029.

•Noted receipt of and considered approval by adopting the new bases of assessments for Walker #831 and McKee #841 County Ditches as submitted by the County Engineer and further consider setting March 12 at 9 a.m. as the date and time for the public hearing.

The Preble County Board of Commissioners meet every Monday and Wednesday at 9 a.m., unless noted otherwise. Commissioners did not meet on Monday, Feb. 19 or on Wednesday, Feb. 21. They will meet again on Monday, Feb. 26, at 9 a.m. in the Commission Chambers at the Preble County Courthouse.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH