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County approves new data storage unit, 2,000 fire and EMS pagers

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The county will receive a new data storage unit and the existing one will be moved to the emergency operations center as a back-up.

The county's Board of Estimates approved the contract for $628,725.21 Thursday morning for EPlus Technology Inc., of Herndon, Va., to migrate the county's existing computer data to a new storage system and then move the existing storage to the emergency operations building to provide backup storage for disaster recovery purposes.

"To address the ongoing demands of a growing IT environment, Harford County is in need of an enterprise NetApp storage solution," reads a memo from information and communication technology director Ted Pibil to Debbie Henderson, director of procurement.

The project was publicly advertised and only EPlus responded.

Harford County Executive David Craig questioned why 20 companies showed interest in the contract, but only one submitted a bid.

Procurement agent Stacy Rappold said she had sent e-mails to several companies for clarification and received a variety of reasons.

One company could only do the storage part of the contract and another couldn't provide the migration aspect, she said. There were also companies that didn't have experience with this type of project.

Rappold added that the company has previous experience with EPlus.

Board of Estimates member Jay Van Deusen asked if the proposal for companies to look at was written "in such a way nobody could provide it [the services]."

NetApp is an established software package, Henderson responded, and the county wasn't asking companies to create their own software.

The county already has a NetApp device, added Ron Pieper, with ICT, and they didn't want to throw it away as to keep everything consistent.

Board member Warren Hamilton also questioned the lack of bids.

"One firm said they could do one part, but not migration. Did we make it so one provider had to do both or could they team up with another team?" he asked.

That option wasn't precluded from the proposal, Henderson said, and one company could have teamed with another.

County Councilman Jim McMahan wondered if moving the existing storage to the EOC building is cost effective as it would need to be moved again when the new EOC building is complete.

"If we're going to keep it, we have to move it some place," Craig said. "I think it's very cost efficient. Otherwise, we get rid of it and have to buy a new one."

The contract was approved, with Van Deusen and Hamilton voting against.

Pagers for fire and EMS

Harford County's fire and EMS service will receive 2,000 pagers from US Alert LLC, of Boca Raton, Fla., for $713,000. The term is for one year with three optional renewals.

"Due to the FCC narrowband order which takes effect Jan. 1, 2013," a memo from Mitch Vocke with emergency operations to Henderson read, "the current pagers will not activate correctly."

US Alert was the lowest bidder of two total bids.

Van Deusen asked Chris Malinowski, with emergency operations, how the long warranty is for the pagers.

Each pager will have a five-year warranty, Malinowski said. After that period, the county will solicit bids again.

He added that EOC already uses the company's pagers and "we've been happy with their pagers."

"They're very good people to work with," he said.

Courthouse improvements

A change order for energy improvements to the historic county courthouse was also approved for $59,555 to Entech Engineering Inc., of Reading, Pa., for a total contract of $187,055.

The change order is for additional design costs associated with the project; the original contract was for engineering services to evaluate the building and make recommendations on how to improve energy efficiency.

In a memo from project manager Barkley Creighton to Henderson, it's explained that the original contract noted "the actual award amount may be increased or decreased depending on funds available and specific scope of services and fees will be negotiated prior to each phase of the project."

After the first phase of the project, an energy study and building evaluation, it was determined "there were several projects identified to be designed for future construction."

Using the remaining grant account balance for the contract, five projects were selected for the second phase, including a chiller upgrade, boiler replacement and window restoration, the memo continued. In addition, four other projects were identified that "need to be included in the design documents for future construction as they supplement the [systems] designed in phase two."

These four projects will be funded from a separate account.

Creighton told the board that the fire pump is original to the building and the cooling towers are more than 20 years old.

Other business during Thursday's Board of Estimates meeting includes:

Frank J. Goettner Construction Co. Inc., of Kingsville, will do repair and resurfacing work for North Avenue, Beacon Court and Bounty Court in Bel Air for $1,131,765.

Goettner submitted the lowest bid for the project out of four total bidders.

Two leases were also approved — one for the county's Emergency Operations Center's hazmat section at 104 Industry Lane in Forest Hill and another at 1321 Woodbridge Station Way in Edgewood, which houses the health department, food bank and Harford Community Action Agency.

EOC will lease the space for $36,205.92 for one year, and has three automatic renewal options. The Woodbridge Station space is also for one year and is for $440,961.12.

Four Verizon poles and its cables on the west side of Schucks Road will be relocated as part of the Schucks Regional Park project. Verizon MD Inc., of Bel Air, will do the work for $65,487.12.

All existing services will be transferred and old poles will be removed and disposed once BGE has placed its poles in conjunction with the project and has transferred its equipment.

Tactical duty uniforms for the Harford County Sheriff's Office will be purchased for $60,802.50 from F&F and A Jacobs & Sons, of Baltimore — 500 each of long and short sleeve Blauer Streetgear tactical duty shirts and 350 Blauer Streetgear tactical duty pants.

"The lowest three bidders did not bid on the item specific in the bid package, therefore their bids were considered non-responsive," read the meeting's agenda.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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