Special meeting to discuss RFP

Published 2:13 pm Wednesday, February 13, 2019


The Charlotte County Board of Supervisors is set to hold a special called meeting Wednesday, 6 p.m. at the Charlotte County Administration Office, 250 LeGrande Ave., Suite A, Charlotte Court House.
According to an alert from the county Friday, “The purpose of this meeting is to enter into closed session to discuss the procurement process for radios.”
During the board’s January meeting, supervisors asked the county attorney, Russell Slayton, to review the Request for Proposal (RFP) for new radio communications equipment.
The RFP review would determine if it is valid or if the specifications were changed so much during the evaluation process that the RFP needs to be reissued, County Administrator Dan Witt said in a previous interview.
The county has received interest from two companies to handle the project.
There are components of the county’s E-911 that will be updated as part of the new communication system, enhancing communications between dispatch and all the other agencies, Witt said.
“The new system would improve safety for officers and emergency services personnel. There are a lot of areas in the county were radio coverage is inadequate or non-existent,” Witt wrote in an email interview. “The proposed system would place sheriff, fire, rescue and schools all on one system, allowing them to communicate with each other more efficiently.”
The new system would move the county from a Very High Frequency system to an Ultra High Frequency system, enhancing communications with emergency services personnel in adjacent localities.
One bidder’s average annual cost is $377,000 over the course of a 15-year lease, while the other is $352,094 for the same period, the minutes of the board’s Jan. 9 meeting show. But the minutes also show there are additional costs with each proposal.
“Ultimately tax dollars either from the general fund reserves, annually appropriated funds or borrowed funds would be used” to pay for it, Witt wrote. “There may be some grant funds available, but that has not been thoroughly researched at this time.”
The company that is selected would be responsible for designing, installing and maintaining the system.
The supervisor’s communications committee recommended to the board of supervisors that a bid be accepted and that the supervisors allow the committee to negotiate with one of the bidders. But at the January meeting, the supervisors rejected that recommendation on a 4-3 vote and instead gave directions to staff to work with legal counsel and bring the findings back to the February meeting.