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Munhall awards bid for surveillance of Main Street

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By Stacy Lee
Thursday, April 19, 2012

Munhall council on Wednesday unanimously awarded the Main Street Camera Project bid to 911 Security Cameras Inc.

Councilors approved the $58,000 bid for the closed circuit surveillance system as "the lowest responsible bidder offering the best quality combination of price, features, warranty and support."

"There was one bidder that came in lower than that amount," borough manager Matt Galla said. "We rejected it because it did not meet the bid specifications that we advertised, specifically as it relates to warranty and technology, being wired versus wireless."

"It's not always beneficial to the borough to go with the lowest bid," Councilman Rich Votedian said. "Because "

"You get what you pay for," council president Joe Ballas finished.

Galla said the system will consist of eight cameras on Main Street from E. Miller Avenue to Cambria Street.

"It's a complete turnkey solution," Galla said. "In fact, the one thing that 911 offers that is a really neat benefit is not only will they have a capability in dispatch to view all the cameras, it will keep a recorded copy for the term to be specified. It's also going to allow the officers, or the chief, or the captain to log in remotely to view any camera, as well. We're gaining some unique capabilities that we didn't even ask for."

He said 911 Security Cameras also will allow the borough to pay a small annual fee to upgrade the system with the latest technology.

Galla said another feature is a discreet camera that can be placed in "hot spots" where crime is being reported.

Councilman Dan Lloyd said that, while the cameras will catch any crime on Main Street, they also will help with issues such as ornamental light poles being damaged by hit-and-run accidents.

The borough will pay $25,000 toward the cameras, and the Main Street Business Owners Association secured $35,000 in grants.

"I think it's really important that we protect our business district," council vice president Rob Falce said. "If we lose our business district, we lose our community."

Ballas said the borough hopefully will be able to place cameras in other areas to deter vandalism.

"We'll be able to, in the future, add up to 150 cameras on the same system," Main Street Business Owners Association vice president Ed Pastirik said.

"The frustration of getting this all together and making it come to fruition has not been an easy task," Main Street Business Owners Association president Dr. Dan Spellman said.

"If and when this does get finalized, we're not done. There are other avenues."

He said that, although some grant money sources have dried up, he believes others are available to cover a major portion of Munhall.

Pastirik said the camera project has taken three years thus far, but Spellman said it was more like five years.

Galla said he will send the award letter to 911 Security Cameras today and request a preconstruction meeting.

He said the borough is hoping to begin the work in mid-May, with completion by mid-June.

A bid for cameras for the borough building will be awarded at a later date.

"Of course we're going to have something compatible with what we're putting up on Main Street," Falce said.

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