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OPSB approves camera maintenance hire

Andrew Philips

By Andrew Philips, Special to Postmedia Network

Orillia police board is looking at the future of security cameras.

Orillia police board is looking at the future of security cameras. ANDREW PHILIPS/ PACKET AND TIMES

The city’s police services board hopes a new agreement means an end to troubles with Orillia’s wireless camera system.

The board approved a plan this week to hire Wally Hilts from Alarm Systems/Falcon Security to provide maintenance for the much-maligned CCTV system.

“He has the credentials to do it,” outgoing board chair Pat Hehn said. “The money’s in council’s budget. I think it will really alleviate any problems.”

Issues surrounding the camera system have been widely reported over the past number of years.

Earlier this year, the police board agreed to pay Convergint Technologies close to $8,000 to iron out the kinks that have led to major communication issues over the years, including the fact the CCTV system didn’t pick up a suspicious (and still unsolved) fire that caused major damage to the Port of Orillia building in late 2014.

The board’s total operating budget in 2016 for the cameras was $22,900, with $18,500 set aside for the upcoming year.

In September, the board issued a request for proposals to try to find someone to maintain the cameras for 2017, but didn’t receive any responses by the time the request period ended two weeks later.

“Board staff subsequently began the process of contacting individual vendors to solicit interest and quotations for this maintenance service agreement,” the police board report reads, noting the city’s IT manager contacted Hilts to see if he would be interested in providing the service, with Hilts responding positively.

“This option is recommended since Mr. Hilts is considered a reputable vendor who was instrumental in the successful installation of the City of Belleville’s wireless camera system.”

In his proposal, Hilts said he would provide annual maintenance and cleaning for $7,411 (including tax). The cost includes dispatching two on-site technicians for two days with a bucket truck as well as all related expenses and an annual report outlining system deficiencies and recommendations.

The price also includes 24-hour standby support, with additional on-site service calls or training (if required) costing extra.

“Staff believe that Mr. Hilts’ proposal is reasonable and within budgetary limits,” the report further stated.

Hehn said she’s happy with the choice of Hilts and his firm.

“They know our product really well,” she said. “This should really solve our problems.”

All totalled, the board’s CCTV contingency budget for 2017 also includes $4,590 for additional on-site service calls or possible training, vandalism repairs and tree trimming, etc. ($5,300), and battery backup replacements ($1,200). 

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