A recommendation to buy the new Macon-Bibb County consolidated government a full public-safety software package from New World Systems is headed toward a decision by the full task force working on city-county consolidation.
The task forces Technology Committee voted without dissent Monday to recommend New World, which earlier provided the new governments basic public-administration software package.
But Mondays vote didnt come without long debate.
I voted aye with reservations, Bibb County Commissioner Lonzy Edwards said.
County officials said in February they wouldnt pay for the full public-safety package now because they had no designated funding source for it. Mayor Robert Reichert and city interim Chief Administrative Officer Dale Walker said Monday theres $2.5 million available for general public-safety needs from the 2011 special purpose local option sales tax.
Has anybody vetted the use of these SPLOST funds from a legal perspective? Edwards asked. Due to legal questions and word from Sheriff David Davis that law enforcement has other expensive needs, Edwards at first sought to buy only the most crucial part of the New World system and leave the rest to the new government when it takes over in January. But that proposal died for lack of a second, and the group instead adopted Reicherts proposal to buy the full system -- with the caveat that city and county attorneys should say whether SPLOST money can be used for it, before the full task force takes up the recommendation Wednesday.
New Worlds initial bid was $5.5 million for the full public-safety software package, including five years of maintenance. Consultant Pat Savage negotiated that down to $1.8 million up front and $1.2 million over the next few years.
At Mondays meeting, New World representative Craig Campbell offered one more incentive: another discount on maintenance, cutting that cost by $180,000 over five years or $405,000 over a decade.
The alternative was buying modules for computer-aided dispatch and fire department data, while upgrading existing systems for all other law enforcement functions.
The CAD and fire data modules alone would cost $1 million, Savage said via speakerphone.
To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.