Starke County Council, Commissioners Discuss Communications Contract

A service contract with communications company J&K Communications was reviewed by the Starke County Council and Starke County Commission members Monday night.

The contract with the company expired on June 30.

Matthew Noonan from the Starke County Communications Committee presented a one-year service contract for $42,000 for consideration.  It covers all radios and 911 dispatch equipment and labor costs.  Software updates, which are costly, are included in the contract.  J&K Communications Representative Ted Hurley said if the software updates are not done on some of the equipment, then new equipment would have to be purchased. 

Noonan stressed that J&K Communications is the only company that could service the county’s needs. 

Council President Dave Pearman asked if an itemized estimate was available to see what it would have cost the county last year without a contract and it was about $47,000 for labor only.  Noonan said the service agreement covers material and labor so it was a benefit for the county to have the agreement in place. 

A five-year contract proposal was presented which would cost the county $189,000 over the course of five years with annual payments of about $38,000.  Hurley said a discount of $21,000 would be realized for a multi-year agreement. 

After further discussion, the council approved a motion to approve the five-year contract with J&K Communications.  They also approved a payment that would take the county through the rest of this year with the rest of the contract to be budgeted out of the Sheriff’s Department budget.  The amount of $18,904.59 was approved for the remainder of the year with the money coming from the Rainy Day Fund.  The commissioners also approved the contract.  County Attorney Marty Lucas will clarify a few issues with the contract with company representatives before it is signed.