City of Sparta approves significant communication upgrades

by | April 17, 2017 6:27 am

Last Updated: April 17, 2017 at 7:14 am

During the April 6 Sparta Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, a plan was approved to enter into an exclusive service provider agreement with Ben Lomand Connect.

This service agreement will significantly cover all the entire communication system for the governmental operations in City of Sparta. At this time, the city utilizes both Ben Lomand Connect and Frontier Communications for its needs.

Under this agreement, Ben Lomand would become the exclusive communications provider for government operations in the city, including the police department, city hall, fire department, electric department, etc.

Ben Lomand Connect will be providing the city with an all- fiber optic system that will be on a closed network used exclusively for city operations. This upgrade will significantly increase the data communication abilities for the city, according to Chris Dorsey, city administrator.

The new system will allow the city to own its own equipment instead of leasing them as they do now with Frontier. It will increase the security capabilities, allow the city to archive emails, and provide wireless Internet locations.

Additionally, the annual cost now being paid by the city for its communication needs is approximately $45,497. Under the new agreement exclusively with Ben Lomand, the annual cost will be approximately, $19,115.

After discussions, the board voted unanimously to enter into this agreement with Ben Lomand and will move forward with purchasing the necessary equipment to set up the new system.

In other business, the board heard reports from the various city department heads.

Sparta Fire Department stated that things have been moving forward. Chief Kirk Young stated that the department continues to answer calls, as well as provide mutual aid to other departments as needed.

Public Works Director Dillard Quick stated that a recent state review at the water plant went very well. Inspectors were pleased with the city’s operation and received a perfect score.

Alderman Jim Floyd commended Quick and his employees for the hard work they have been doing with the walking bridge project at South Carter Street Park.

The board took the opportunity to review a presentation on the report on debt obligation for the water and sewer revenue bonds. Mayor Jeff Young and Dorsey were both pleased with the report.

It was also revealed in the debt obligation report presentation that the City of Sparta has received an A+ rating from Standard and Poor. Standard and Poor is a bond investment research tool that is used to determine the ability and willingness of a corporation or government entity to meet its financial obligations. This new rating is one of the highest in the City of Sparta’s history. Young expressed to the board how proud of the city he was for achieving this rating.

Sparta Board of Mayor and Aldermen suspended the meeting and convened as the Sparta Beer Board to consider an application from Calfkiller Brewing Company for a special event. The beer board reviewed the application and unanimously approved it.

The beer board adjourned and reconvened as Sparta Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

Other items on the agenda included:

-Accepting the lowest bid for stump grinding service from England Diesel

-Authorizing the solicitation of bids for building materials for a metal building for sanitation truck storage

-Authorizing the solicitation of applications for trades helper 1 for public works-sewer

-Approving the hiring of a sanitation truck driver for public works, Alan Kinnaird

-Approving the application for a volunteer firefighter, Christopher Dodson

Sparta Board of Mayor and Aldermen will meet again at 5 p.m., April 20, on the second floor of Sparta City Hall.

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