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story.lead_photo.caption The Benton County Sheriff's Office in Bentonville.

BENTONVILLE -- Benton County's Finance Committee on Tuesday night gave the OK to dip into reserve to help pay for a new software and record-keeping system for the public safety dispatching system, jail management and related records.

The new system will be provided by CentralSquare Technologies of Lake Mary, Fla. The bid from CentralSquare was $1,014,988, comptroller Brenda Guenther said. The county has $16.4 million in reserve, she said.

Next meeting

Benton County’s next Finance Committee meeting will be 6 p.m. June 11 in the Quorum Courtroom at the County Administration Building in downtown Bentonville.

Source: Benton County

The county will pay $813,920 this year and budget the remaining $201,067 in 2020, Guenther said.

Installation will take 10 to 14 months after the contract is signed, said Robert T. McGowen, administrator of Public Safety.

The annual maintenance fee will be $70,613, and the annual subscription fee will be $141,161, according to county information. The maintenance fee shall increase by an amount not to exceed 5% from the prior year.

The Finance Committee first discussed the software system at its April meeting and moved the item to the Committee of the Whole for consideration. The Committee of the Whole unanimously referred the matter back to the Finance Committee to come up with a recommendation on the method of payment.

CentralSquare has more than 7,650 customers in 50 states and Canada, according to information provided by the company.

The county will pay 25% upon signing the contract with CentralSquare. Another 55% will be paid by Dec. 31, Guenther said.

The item was moved to the Quorum Court for approval.

In other discussion Tuesday night, committee members voted 8-7 against using turnback money to buy another fire truck for rural firefighting.

Justice of the Peace Brent Meyers suggested using the money to pay for a fire truck originally was cut from this year's budget. The truck was trimmed to help pay for a new radio system for the first quarter of 2020, said Marc Trollinger, fire marshal. The cost of a new truck was $234,000, according to to the county.

Meyers said he was disappointed in the outcome. "It's something we shouldn't do without," he said after the meeting.

Justice of the Peace Kurt Moore said the county needs to continue to plan to buy two fire trucks a year in the coming years.

"A fire truck is first on the hit list every budget season," he said when it comes to budget cuts.

The new radio system will cost $3.75 million. The county will use $1.75 million from reserve and borrow $2 million to pay for the project. The system would be for the Sheriff's Office and jail, Road Department, Emergency Services, Coroner's Office and rural fire services, which will distribute the equipment among the smaller fire departments. The county also would buy seven consoles for its dispatch center.

NW News on 05/15/2019

Print Headline: County to use reserve to help pay for software

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