City considers bid for cameras

Columbus has received one additional bid for security cameras at Columbus City Hall and the Evolution Training Center.

ERS Wireless submitted a proposal with a total price of $153,971.35, said Drake Maddix with the Columbus Police Department. The Columbus Board of Works has voted to take the new bid under advisement.

ERS Wireless, also known as Emergency Radio Service, LLC, describes itself as a “technology company with expertise in wireless voice, data, and video solutions.” It has several Indiana locations, including a Columbus office at 1815 21st St.

Two weeks ago, the board voted to issue a new notice to bidders on the security camera project, which is being funded through a grant from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The city’s initial Request for Proposals resulted in one proposal from Koorsen Fire and Security, which gave a base bid of $160,555. According to City Director of Administration and Community Development Mary Ferdon, the price was “significantly higher than expected.” The board voted in early May to reject the company’s bid.

While ERS’s proposed total price is not much lower than Koorsen’s base bid, City Director of Finance, Operations and Risk Jamie Brinegar said in May that the city might look for more of an “à la carte proposal” so that if the total price is more than they’d like, officials can choose which parts to accept.

Cameras are not the only expense that will be funded by the DHS grant. The city also plans to add a metal detector at the back entrance to city hall. Columbus City Council approved an ordinance in April that, among other things, allowed the appropriation of up to $126,322 from the city’s general fund for expenses related to the grant.

The city was awarded a $126,322 grant from the DHS’ State Homeland Security Program for safety upgrades at city hall and the Evolution Training Facility. Because this is a “refunding grant,” the city must spend funds prior to being reimbursed by Homeland Security.