New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | November 18, 2017

Price tag on unbudgeted item raise eyebrows of Charles City supervisors

By Andre Jones | September 7, 2017 9:56 am

A Sept. 6 Charles City Board of Supervisors work session provided county leaders with updates of current department actions, future projects, and focused on goals to continue growth of the county. But an unbudgeted item request for the current fiscal year from the sheriff’s office at a price tag of $160,000 raised the eyebrows of all three county representatives.

County administrator Michelle Johnson said that towards the end of July, she received a call from ID Networks involving dialogue about upgrades to technology used by the county’s communication officers. Johnson said she didn’t know anything about it and approached Information Technology director Harry French, who echoed the same response.

“Through some research, I found out that the former county administrator [Zach Trogdon] and the sheriff [Alan Jones Sr.] were working on this and negotiating with the vendor,” Johnson said. “Neither myself nor Mr. French were involved in those meetings.”

The issue with the situation is that ID Networks acquired DaProSystems, the original provider for communication dispatchers, in 2015. According to information at the work session, integration from the old system to the new system was to take place this year and ID Networks were looking for a response from the county by the end of August.

“I hadn’t had time to research the system over those few short weeks but was able to work out an extension,” Johnson added.

But when Johnson dropped the figure of $110,000 for the new software plus an additional $50,000 for hardware upgrades, all three supervisors raised their eyebrows.

“You’re telling me that this unbudgeted item that we need for this year is going to cost us $160,000?” asked District 2 supervisor and board chairman Bill Coada. “Where are we going to get that type of money?”

Johnson responded, saying that an option to pay $37,000 a year for the next five years was available.

“I know how you feel but we have to move to the software,” Johnson commented. “Mr. French and I are doing the legwork to get caught up to speed.”

County leaders have the end of the month to decide if they will send a letter of intent to the company to notify if they intend to receive the upgrades.