"We've been kind of behind the eight ball for several years," said Fire Chief Scott Carter. "With the new construction going on at the headquarters station and the addition of the fourth station on MLK, we came to a point that our software systems was going to have to be expanded."
The new system will cost $45,359.89 and has been in development for the past three years. The fire department, its IT staff and the software engineers looked at systems used in Washington state, St. Louis and Dobson County for this system's development. It features a double redundancy backup to protect information, and since the fire department's IT staff was involved with development, they will be well-versed in its use.
Firehouse also will assist fire inspectors. "We're hoping to enhance our customer service we deliver with the inspectors because they're actually going to be able to access information live at the point of contact," Carter said.
Inspectors will be able to print reports immediately, rather than being forced to travel back to the office.
The council also approved a late addition to the agenda from Aquafil USA.
Acquafil, a manufacturer of solar panels and generator of solar electricity, was asking for approval to tie in with the city's power grid. By approving the contract, the city council cleared the way for Acquafil to activate the system by April 9, which would make them eligible for government grants.
The company plans to install a 400 kW generator that would offset some of Aquafil's energy use. The contract also allows the company to expand the number of panels and generators they can install while allowing the city to purchase power from the company in the future.
City Attorney David Archer updated the council on the progress of a class action lawsuit against online travel companies. The lawsuit has been in the courts since 2005 and Cartersville is one of 19 plaintiffs involved.
The suit alleges that the travel sites have been paying taxes on the lower wholesale amounts rather than the retail amounts they charge customers. If the suit is partially settled, the city will get $2,500. However, the court may rule in the plaintiffs' favor, which could force the travel sites to pay a larger amount based on sales since 2005.
Sewer projects on Puckett Street, MLK and Goodyear Avenue were approved as were the purchases of a new transformer for the water treatment plant and a gear washer extractor for the fire department. The Cartersville City Council is scheduled to meet next on April 19 at 7 p.m.