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Consideration of a $261,062 contract providing third-party oversight of the city's $4.9 million communication system upgrade is the first item of new business the Hot Springs Board of Directors will consider tonight.

The resolution awarding the contract to Federal Engineering calls for the Fairfax, Va., consulting firm to supervise the project, making sure Motorola Solutions meets specifications in the request for proposals the city issued earlier this year.

The board last month awarded Motorola the $4,900,477 contract to replace the city's existing Motorola Smartnet system.

Proceeds from the 2.6 General Fund mills the city began levying for the 2016 tax year and the $1.59 million appropriated from the solid waste, water and wastewater funds this year will pay for Motorola and Federal's contracts. The city has said the millage, which was renewed for the 2017 tax year, won't be reinstated in 2018. It's expected to raise more than $3 million over its two-year life.

Federal Engineering was awarded a $130,000 contract in October 2015 to consult the city on developing the specifications for its RFP and selecting a vendor. The almost $400,000 total of Federal's two contracts represents about 8 percent of the project cost, a fee Hot Springs Fire Chief Ed Davis told the board is consistent with what an architect would charge for design work.

The second contract provides accountability for the city, Davis told the board, ensuring the new system meets reliability, coverage, audio quality and capacity standards the city detailed in its RFP. They include at least 97-percent coverage for handheld radios, 99 percent for vehicle-mounted radios, high coverage levels inside 70 buildings deemed critical and a call-loss rate of less than 1 percent.

"They will be guaranteeing the system meets our performance standards, and that all of the different particulars of the system interact with each other and perform the way they're supposed to," Davis said at last week's agenda meeting.

Federal won't be subject to a performance guarantee, he told the board, explaining the surety bond Motorola will be required to post protects the city in the event Motorola is unable to fulfill its contract.

The $251,060 for labor is the biggest expense in Federal's contract, according to the cost breakdown in the board's agenda packet. It includes $80,350 for an estimated 443 hours of weekly conference calls, $23,420 for on-call technical support and $23,350 for system acceptance testing.

"They'll be responsible for all of the deliverables and performance standards we specified in the (RFP), from construction all the way to testing and acceptance," Davis said.

The $10,002 in estimated travel expenses account for the balance of the contract's costs. According to the agenda packet, the city will be invoiced for nonlabor charges based on the actual cost and an additional 20 percent for general and administrative costs.

The city's communications upgrade will make it a full-time user on the Arkansas Wirelesss Information Network, the state-run platform used by 900 local, state and federal agencies. The city has said it expects the new system to go live by next fall.

Local on 12/05/2017

Print Headline: City radio consultant contract goes before board

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