A proposal to is in question after estimated costs — and the pursuant bond to fund the proposal — came in at more than double the number town board members spoke about a little more than two weeks ago.
Police Chief William Wilson approached the town board on Oct. 7 with representatives from Farmingdale-based Admit Computer Systems, saying that with a current 2012 budget proposal to cut six more officers from his department, efficiencies will need to be improved to at least keep service levels on par with prior years.
The system is intended to make data gathering easier for patrol officers and hasten the booking process, among other things. Wilson said it could cut booking time in half, giving officers more time to be proactive.
A representative of Admit Computer Systems — the same company that installed 's upgrade under Wilson's direction — said at the time that capital costs would hover around $240,000. Wilson also requested support from the company during an installation period, coming in at around an additional $70,000.
However, a draft resolution — to be voted on at Tuesday's town board meeting — ballparked a cost of $695,400 for the project, and a $700,000 bond.
According to a breakdown of the cost proposal, the town would incur the following costs should the board vote to approve the upgrade:
- Software: $240,000
- Hardware and network infrastructure: $125,400
- Workstations and mobile equipment: $205,000
- Additional temporary staffing for implementation: $125,000
At Friday's meeting, Councilman Chris Nuzzi, R-Speonk, was first to express concern with the numbers, saying, "I don't remember seeing these types of numbers at the work session ... These were nowhere in this range."
Comptroller Tamara Wright said on Friday that Admit, "did not have a good estimation at that time what the equipment costs would be."
Following the Oct. 7 meeting, Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, I-Sag Harbor, said the town had roughly $200,000 in its information technology reserves to help curb the cost of the upgrade, and the town would bond the rest. Tuesday's board meeting agenda calls for a $700,000 bond.
Messages left with Throne Holst, Wilson, and Admit's vice president of sales, who represented the company on Oct. 7 , were not immediately returned.
In an interview on Monday, Councilman Jim Malone, C-Hampton Bays, suggested a "phased-in" proposal to upgrade the system, such as implementing the technology in some cars immediately and others in the future.
"I support the concept. I still think we can get there," he said. "But we may not be able to do a broad sweep. I think to phase it in over one or two years would be more appropriate."
Malone added — as he said last Friday — that he had "no awareness that the package would be that much."
"I usually don't miss half a million dollars," he said.