Council okays more than $450,000 for necessary software upgrades for city’s police, fire, court systems

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During the Opelika city council’s work session held Tuesday evening, the city’s chief technology officer Stephen Dawe told city officials his proposal, asking for more than $400,000 in bids for hardware and software upgrades, had become a necessary reality.

Dawe said after his arrival in Opelika, he met with city department heads to assess the city’s current technological system’s status.

“To put it bluntly, on the public safety side, there was a lot of duplication of effort; there was a lot of frustration that the systems didn’t work,” Dawe said. “In the case of the police department, there is a significant issue that we are unable to report electronically to the state of Alabama … We are still, at this moment, in danger of losing our federal funding because we are still unable to report our UCR (uniform crime reports) to the state.”

Dawe said while his department is close to resolving the issues, the software upgrades he was asking the council for would go a long way to making sure Opelika stays in compliance with state law.

The council voted unanimously to assign the two bids sought by the IT department, awarding a $364,654 bid to Southern Software Inc. and a $40,565 bid to ACS Fire House Software.

The council gave their permission to Lagasse Construction, Inc., to construct and install a monument sign and landscaping on a portion of the right-of-way at Waterford Boulevard.

The council awarded a contract not to exceed $30,000 a year to Electric Cities of Georgia, Inc., for a safety training program and other testing services for Opelika Power Services.

Council members assented to a $1,938 change order for a hydraulic digger derrick bid for Opelika Power Services. The new total amount for the bid is $216,699.

The council granted two requests from the Planning department to advertise public hearings for two potential zoning changes: one to change 709 Pleasant Drive from R-5M to C-2 and one to move five properties on West Thomason Circle from R4 or R4, GC2 to I1 or I1, GC2.

Council president Eddie Smith, president pro tem Patsy Jones and Ward 3 council member Joey Motley each submitted expense reports which were approved on 4-1 votes by the council; Smith, Jones and Motley each abstained when their own expense report came for a vote.

Council members also approved expense reports from three Lewis Cooper Library employees: two from head librarian Susan Delmas’ recent visit to the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia and one each from library employees Marsha Bryant and Diane Heard, to attend a genealogy class held at the Birmingham Public Library.

The council voted to set a public hearing date for April 17 to assess the cost of weed abatement at 2605 Stonybrook Road.

Council members approved two requests Tuesday: one for a retail beer/wine off-premise license to Shopper Stop 37 and one for Opelika Main Street for its biannual On the Tracks event.

Council members gave their okay to changing a city street name, turning Autumn Lane into Autumn Way. City engineer Doc Dorsey said no residents currently lived on the street and future addresses were already slated to be assigned the “Autumn Way” designation.

Council members also voted to designate certain city property as surplus, and designated Metro City Bank as an official City depository.

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