911 center substantially completed

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By Juanice Gray, jgray@natchitochestimes.com

The 911 Commission approved a resolution to authorize a certificate of substantial completion for the NATCOM center at their meeting Wednesday, Nov. 7. This is the long-awaited news that the center is to a stage of completion to allow occupancy. This, however, does not mean it is move in ready. There is a punch list of items remaining as well as installation of work stations and phone systems. 911 Director Willis Carter said hopes are that the center will be operational by the end of the first quarter of 2019. Architect George Minturn said items that had been holding up the status of substantial completion, including a fuel tank for a generator, had been completed.

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AT&T, provider for the 911 call processing equipment, was awaiting board approval on the measure before proceeding. Once the business phones and office furniture are installed, Willis and 911 secretary Bernice Wallace can move into their offices. “An order has been placed with AT&T. A few units are in place and operating,” Carter said. Carter and Minturn told the board three vendors were providing quotes on the operator consoles after board member Rick Nowlin asked if that was the issue preventing move-in. “We need to get two numbers from two of the vendors.

On these consoles we are not comparing apples to apples. There are several variables,” Minturn said. Carter stated he preferred stainless steel construction for durability but at some point they had to proceed with the best offer. “I’m not in favor of waiting much longer for a final quote,” he said. “We will take the one preferred out of the three proposals that meets all requirements.” As stated in previous meetings, they have an agreement with Ascension Parish Communications District to “piggy back” on their purchasing contract. This means the Natchitoches district will abide by the terms and conditions already negotiated by Ascension. “They have already done the legwork and gone through the bidding process,” Carter said.

Delivery time after ordering is eight-10 weeks.

The board also approved authorization to execute agreement for telephone and internet services. Kinetix of Alexandria will provide a variety of technology solutions and equipment services as well as managed services as associated with information technology related issues. Of five proposals, Kinetix offered the best overall package. “They came in at $1,019.59 monthly for their services, we will not have any equipment to maintain and will have state-of-the-art products. The phones will have an integrated fax as well.”

The contract will be for two years.