Agricenter to upgrade security cameras

awoolen@macon.comDecember 11, 2013 

PERRY -- The Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter will soon have a new security camera system installed on the property.

During the December meeting of the Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority on Wednesday, the board unanimously approved a five-year lease of 30 new cameras.

The system will cost $2,500 up front, and there is a $2,166 a month maintenance fee.

“The problem we run into is how gigantic this facility is,” said Stephen Shimp, public safety director at the fairgrounds.

With the new cameras, which are able to zoom, pivot and turn 180 degrees, the security team will be able to see live feeds of ticketing booths and all gates as well as Reaves Arena.

The current system is outdated, Shimp said, and there are problems with networking the cameras.

All of the problems were addressed in the proposal by Tyco.

Also at the meeting:

• The board approved putting an additional $20,000 in the scholarship fund, bringing the balance to $60,000.

• Marketing plans for the Georgia National Rodeo, Feb. 20-22, were set, and the tickets go on sale Jan. 22. Tickets will be available online only at www.gnfa.com. Ticket prices range from $9 to $22.50.

• After consulting with the city of Perry and engineers, the fairgrounds will not have to pay a monthly $200 fee to the city for stormwater drainage. That is because the fairgrounds met conditions to be excluded from paying utility fees, according to a letter from City Manager Lee Gilmour to Randy Moore, executive director of the fairgrounds.

• Verizon requested a sponsorship to put permanent cellphone towers on the Miller-Murphy-Howard building, said Teresa Hawk, sponsorships and special programs director. The contract would be for three years, and the fairgrounds would receive $42,000 a year from Verizon.

Verizon would use the towers “to boost customer signals while at the fair,” said Moore. The board gave Hawk the go ahead to make a contract for that amount.

The cellphone company previously installed temporary towers for three months centering on the Georgia National Fair in October.

• An additional sign will be placed near the fairgrounds at a cost of $588, near Golden Isles Parkway and Gen. Courtney Hodges Boulevard. The sign will be out of the right of way.

The 8-by-16-inch sign will announce the National Barrel Horse Association’s competitions while they are at the fairgrounds, and during the rest of the year the sign will have the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter logo on it.

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