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Lake County commissioners approve negotiated bidding for dispatch center process

Updated: December 10, 2012 6:24AM



CROWN POINT — The county’s E-911 commission will seek proposals for the “nuts and bolts” of the emergency dispatch center and have been given approval to use a process called negotiated bidding to get the best price.

Board of Commissioners attorney John Dull said the process is permitted by statute and gives the commission a chance to open the bids in private then negotiate with each individual to try to obtain even better pricing before awarding the contract to the company that turns out to be the lowest most responsive bidder. The Board of Commissioners on Thursday unanimously approved the process.

“I think it would be advantageous here,” Dull said. Negotiated bidding is one of three often-unused options available to the county by state statute in the bidding process. The other two include minority contract set-asides and reverse bidding.

Once bids are open and while the negotiation process is under way, the bid amounts are not revealed to other bidders. After the team negotiates the best prices from the potential bidders, the low bidder is awarded the contract and records of the process, which must be documented, will become public.

Jeff Ciccilian, director of the county 911 services, said the request for proposal is for everything from the floor up not including the actual building site, which has yet to be selected.

“The problem we are having with the consolidation is we need to know what this costs,” Ciccilian said.

In their meeting last month, E-911 Commission members said they could not decide how many dispatch terminals the new facility would have without knowing how much those terminals would cost. Earlier estimates are around $40,000 per console.

Members have discussed having anywhere from 25 to 40 active terminals in the main site and four to five in a dark back-up site, possibly at the Hammond Police Department.

Commissioner Gerry Scheub, D-2nd, said a final site has not yet been selected and an interlocal agreement has not been accepted by all the participating units. The E-911 Commission is having a workshop with town and city officials at 6 p.m. Nov. 28 in the government center to provide an update and encourage participation before the state-mandated deadline.



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