New agreement includes regular upgrades to Monroe’s public safety radio system

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Monroe Town Hall is at 7 Fan Hill Road in Monroe. Photo by John Babina

MONROE, CT — A $1.65 million upgrade to the town’s public safety radio communications system last year was paid for through a bonding authorization in 2020. Now, First Selectman Ken Kellogg says a new service agreement will ensure “like new” status every two years without the need for expensive bonding authorizations.

On Monday night, the Town Council unanimously approved a new warranty/service agreement with Motorola Solutions Inc. The five-year-plan carries an annual cost of $124,236 in year one, before rising to $135,886 by year five.

“Motorola is now offering more of a subscription service, rather than buying a piece of software that you upgrade every five years,” Kellogg told the Council. “This is something that gets updated automatically and keeps getting updated.”

The town currently has an agreement with Norcom that is about to expire. A standard service contract is now available through Norcom for an estimated $41,000 in 2023. But it does not include any system upgrades, according to Kellogg.

Prior to the decision to go with Motorola, the Monroe Police Department worked with an independent consultant to evaluate the different options and costs.

“Earlier this year, then-Chief John Salvatore advised me that the consultant recommended the town’s commitment to the Motorola plan to provide a controlled and predictable cost structure,” Kellogg said.

The town previously extended agreements year-to-year.

Town Attorney Francis Lieto reviewed the agreement and recommended it move forward to the Town Council for its review.

Councilman Kevin Reid, who chairs its Legislative and Administrative Committee, told the Council there was a consensus to bring the contract to the full body for a vote.

Councilman Jason Maur, who serves on the L&A Committee, said the consultant estimated the town would, conservatively, save around $1 million over a 10-year-period by going with Motorola, because the cost includes the upgrades.

Police Chief Keith White called into Monday’s meeting to answer any questions Council members may have before voting, but there were none.

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