The city is taking on $1,561,523 debt to finance upgrades to the city’s public works, police, and fire communications system, according to city records.
The city will purchase hardware, software, radios, wiring, air conditioning system, and camera system for the three departments using $1.33 million. The city will pay $228,523 in interest over a 10-year period, according to city records.
Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres’ administration introduced the borrowing ordinance to the council on Tuesday night. Council members said the city’s communications system is in dire need of an upgrade.
“Our communications system is way out dated,” said Michael Jackson, 1st Ward councilman, who is the chairman of the public safety committee, which oversees the fire and police departments. He said this will bring the city’s communications system to the 21st century.
“This is long overdue and something desperately needed,” said Jackson. Some hope this will improve response time for police, fire, and public works through a central dispatching system, said officials.
Alex Mendez, councilman at-large, wanted to see a presentation about the project. He also sounded an alarm on allowing the administration to borrow more money.
“This is not money we have in the bank. I want to make sure we spend this the right way,” said Mendez.
Council members gave a preliminary approval to the borrowing ordinance. The council will take a final vote on the borrowing measure on December 20th, 2016 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.