The new HHPNC has experienced sticker shock over the cost of camera system.
By David Fonseca
The Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council's plan to purchase security cameras to be installed at the corner of York Boulevard and Figueroa Street and along the Monte Vista Street corridor is not yet a done deal.
Though the previous HHPNC board voted to enter a contract with vendor RD systems in July, the recently elected board has shown some reluctance at the project's sticker price.
The board learned on Thursday evening that they will need to act quickly. Of the $50,000 set aside to pay for the cameras, $25,000 was encumbered by a previous board in 2009. Another $25,000 has been donated by Council District 1.
Jeff Brill, the head of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment's (DONE) funding program, said if they board did not soon decide whether to move forward with the purchase, those funds would be returned to the city's general fund.
The last minute indecision came as the new board learned the final price for the camera system would be $55,500, about $5,500 more than the previous board had set aside.
While the new board voted in favor of taking on $6,000 in Internet costs at their last meeting, pending a report back from new board President Monica Alcaraz, they seemed reluctant to tack on yet another $5,500 in spending.
Treasurer Joan Potter noted that the board would only have roughly $9,000 to spend for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends in June, once translation, storage and meeting hall rentals were taken into consdieration.
Brandin Engersbach, a newly elected board member, raised concerns about the board losing its investment on a cameras if they were shot out or otherwise damaged. Brill conceded that damaged caused by humans was not covered in the cameras' warranties.
Grethen Knudsen asked why the city was not able to recieve bids from any other vendor aside from RD Systems. Brill responded that they were the only qualified vendor who responded to the city's bid.
The board ultimatley decided to table their vote on the funding, with hopes that RD Systems would be able to shave some money from the bid price after visiting the Union Bank building on York Boulevard to determine if it could serve as an adequate relay between the Monte Vista Street cameras and those located on York Boulevard and Avenue 50. If so, Brill said, the vendor may be able to offer a lower price.