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.
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.
McMahan, who seemed displeased with the current IBM mainframe, asked when the county was going to get a better one.
"IBM has a gun to our head and this is 1970 technology," he said. "They make us spend $125,000 just because they have a little update and we can't keep it running without their update."
Pibil told the councilman that the county is in the process of migrating certain applications to a server-based application so they don't have to rely on the current mainframe as much.
He said ideally the county would be off of the mainframe in five years.
The final IT contract the board approved Thursday is for the purchase of the central office exchange service used by all county agencies for an amount not to exceed $417,708.94 from Verizon Maryland Inc., of Dallas Texas.
The Centrex (central office exchange service) phone service contract is for one year.
Pibil commented that in the future the county hopes they can offload the work internally when the HMAN (Harford County Metro Area Network) fiber optic project becomes operational.
He said it would be a "fairly significant procurement, but will save us money down the road" when that happens.
McMahan called Centrex "antiquated" and said "it should've been out of here 10 years ago."
More improvements will be made at the intersection of Hess Road and Route 152 in Fallston, Willow Chase Drive at Wheel Road, Willowdale Drive at Wheel Road and Tollgate Road at the MacPhail roundabout.
Romano Concrete Construction Inc., of Laurel, was awarded the contract for $311,199.
Rick Bates, with the department of public works, said the improvements included a right lane to be put on Hess Road at Route 152 and a roundabout at MacPhail and Tollgate.
Asplundh Tree Expert Co., of Odenton, will provide regular and emergency roadway tree trimming and removal services for $1,033,052.80.
The renewed contract is for one year with one remaining optional year.
Reflective sign material
Reflective sheeting for road signs to meet federal requirements will be purchased for $115,000 from 3M Corporation of St. Paul, Minn.
"Due to new federal requirements," read a memo from Tonye Cornbrooks, highways management assistant, to Henderson, "any new street signs installed have to be replaced with the higher reflectivity product [and] any school bus signs have to be installed with a fluorescent yellow green sheeting, which both are much more expensive, so this necessitates the need for increased funds."
Liquid bituminous material for road tar and chip applications will be purchased for $515,280 from Hammaker East LP, of Fayetteville, Pa.
Cornbrooks told the board the material is a sealant to prevent water damage to the road.
Johnson Controls Inc., of Sparks, and RLS Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, of Curtis Bay, will provide HVAC maintenance and repair in county facilities for an amount not to exceed $500,000.
The contract is for one year with two one-year renewals.