New 911 Center Radio Maintenance Contract Saves Pocahontas County Money

Mike O’Brien, the Pocahontas County 911 Director asked the County Commissioners at their November 17th meeting to approve a new radio maintenance contract with Staley Communications.  O’Brien told the Commissioners that he cancelled the old maintenance contract with another company a few weeks ago because it was pretty much useless to the 911 Center.  The old contract only provided service Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., plus a charge for mileage and an hourly rate that would cost about $1000.00 per day. Of course, if they developed radio problems at night or on weekends, they were out of luck.

O’Brien said the only thing they got out of that contract was a yearly maintenance visit, and then the company usually didn’t bring the right equipment and would have to reschedule. O’Brien checked with 911 Centers in other counties and got good referrals about Staley Communications. He learned that Staley Communications has maintenance agreements with 911 Centers in 9 other counties and with Snowshoe. O’Brien told the Commission what Staley offers and asked the Commissioners to authorize a contract with Staley.

“I would like permission to enter into a contract with Staley Communications” said O’Brien. “They have agreed to do a 24 -7, 365 maintenance contract with us, which includes mileage, hourly rate and a tech made available anytime we need him- day or night.  And they are willing to do that for $3,285.00 per quarter, a yearly savings for us -$17,220 a year savings.  It’s a better deal, were getting 24-7. I would like permission to enter into that contract – that’s $13,140 a year.”

The savings happen because their old contract with another company cost them $30,360.00 per year and was almost useless to them.

O’Brien was also impressed with Staley’s response. When he contacted them about a possible contract, Staley sent several radio engineers to Pocahontas County and they spent a day examining the 911 Center’s radio equipment, including repeater locations and said they would look into how to improve the performance and range of the radio system.

It didn’t take very long, or a lot of thinking – the Commissioners authorized O’Brien to enter into the contract with Staley Communications.

In other actions, the Commissioners went into an executive (closed) session to discuss a personnel matter with Sheriff David Jonese. Upon their return to open session, they voted to approve the hiring of Tim Sayre as a full-time Bailiff/Process Server at $25,800.00 per year.

Tammie Alderman of the County Day Report Center gave the Center’s monthly report to the commissioners.

Will Smith of West Virginia Interactive, a Charleston business presented two proposals to streamline citizen tax payments for the Commissioners. The first was to set up the various tax and fee agencies that operate under the Commission to accept credit card tax and fee payments from citizens. As proposed, any processing fees would be absorbed by the citizens using the system rather than by the County.  The company would provide the credit card swipe machines free of charge to the County and the system would accept all major credit cards. The second proposal would be a software system allowing owners of rental properties to pay their Hotel/Motel taxes on line. Again there would be no processing fees charged to the County. The Commissioners indicated they were interested, but deferred any action until they could research this further.

The Commissioners agreed to extend the lease of office space in the Former Shoe Factory Building to the West Virginia Division of Forestry for a year.

They agreed to contribute $3,500.00 to the Marlinton Depot, provided that the requester, Bill McNeel, provide a copy of the Depot’s IRS Non-Profit letter.

The Meeting ended with payment of invoices.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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