Harford County's Board of Estimates has approved several contracts, totaling more than $2.2 million, that were requested by the county's information and communication technology director, including one for more than $600,000 for copiers.

About 140 black/white and color Xerox machines will be leased to departments all over the county from Xerox Corporation of Dallas, Texas, for an amount not to exceed $640,000. Maintenance, toner and color cartridges are also covered by the contract.

Ted Pibil, ICT director, told the board of estimates during its meeting in Bel Air Thursday morning, that the copiers are multi-function machines that can be used as copiers and printers.

Up to 475 cell phones for county employees and voice and data service will be purchased for an amount not to exceed $308,750 from Verizon Wireless, of Lehigh Valley, Pa.

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County Executive David Craig asked Pibel who are the biggest users of the cell phones among the staff.

Parks and recreation has about 49 phones, Pibil responded, highways division has about 30, water and sewer has about 40 and the entire department of public works has around 133 phones.

Board member Jay Van Deusen asked if all phones will have data service.

Some will, Pibil answered, but others will have voice service only and others serve basically as pagers.

Another contract approved Thursday involves a constituent relationship management software system for the Harford County Council and county executive's chief of staff's office that will allow county agencies to "increase the efficiency and the response time to the constituents," Pibil said.

Lockheed Martin Desktop Solutions Inc., of Fairfax, Va., was awarded the contract for $181,647.60.

Lockheed was the highest scoring company out of three total bidders that were graded upon certain criteria, including strength of work plan, meeting technical requirements and references, according to documentation prepared for the board by the procurement department.

The company originally quoted a price of $191,022.60, but lowered the cost after the department of procurement requested a best and final offer.

"When the administration and council get calls, this will enable us to pull it up on the [computer] screen and see the administration answered the constituent and the council won't say something contrary, which has been the case," said County Councilman Jim McMahan, who was representing the council at Thursday's meeting.

Eventually, other county agencies can be added to the web-based system, he added.

"It's a positive thing for everyone in the future," McMahan said. "Not just the council."

A contract not to exceed $600,000 for everyday computer components, including monitors and hardware, was awarded to three vendors.

EPlus Technology, of Herndon, Va., Hartford Computer Group, of Columbia, and CDW-Government, of Vernon Hills, Ill., will provide price quotes on purchases that wouldn't necessarily come before the board of estimates because they "aren't big enough," Pibil said.

If a purchase is less than $50,000, an agency isn't required to go before the board for approval.

Procurement Director Debbie Henderson said the agencies will still be getting price quotes from all three companies to ensure the best price for everything they buy.

An existing contract with IBM Corporation, of Philadelphia, Pa., was renewed for another year for $125,076 to provide maintenance to the county's mainframe system, which supports numerous county agencies.