NORRISTOWN — Norristown City Council members authorized a nearly $70,000 contract earlier this week to revamp its public safety communications system as renovations continue at the Municipal Hall.
The approximately $69,786 deal with Intenna Systems, Inc, of Medford, New Jersey, would improve communications for city police, firefighters and first responders, according to Norristown Fire Chief Tom O’Donnell .
O’Donnell identified the police department as the primary local public safety entity currently facing communication challenges, specifically “law enforcement’s inability to communicate outside of the municipal hall.” O’Donnell noted that the department is located on the ground floor and basement of the building on Airy Street.
“What we had in place was an analog repeater system,” he said. “When the county switched from its analog radio system to its digital radio system, this repeater became unusable.”
O’Donnell said two bids were considered for the 700/800 MHz Public Safety Communications Network antenna system implementation work. He cited the cost in the decision to endorse the New Jersey-based company over another company. The other contender was offered through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s cooperative purchasing program, according to O’Donnell, which was about $3,000 more.
The funds came from the municipality’s capital improvement plan budget, according to city administrator Crandall Jones.
The initiative passed unanimously by a 6-0 vote, with Norristown Councilor Rashaad Bates absent from the April 19 business session.