In a message from Mark Luburda to the Technology Commission this past Friday, Mark wrote:
The Common Council did approve your motion with a slight modification in the event Code Red would not modify their terms or price. In that circumstance, the Mayor had the authority to consider a different vendor. In the end, Code Red would not adequately modify their terms. They would not eliminate the $10,000 buy-out if we terminated the contract for a different vendor sooner than the full 5-years. I worked with a second vendor who needed one minor code change, but in the end their tech division said that they could not commit to having it completed early next year.
The good news, however, is that a third company – one with which we were not previously aware – was found that provided the core service which was the basis of our review (Provide a voice call for tornado warnings based National Weather Service geo-codes). Through much effort, we were able to complete the review of the service and contract negotiations before (just hours before) the deadline on the grant. Although the service is probably a little lower on the full-service spectrum, it did receive positive reviews from current customers (including the City of Madison which uses it to notice storm/parking alerts, but not for tornados). Following are examples of its more basic service: voice calls are all computer generated text-to-voice and not where we record our message in our own voice; mapping is Google maps-based; and the polygon mapping tool is not quite as robust but is clearly sufficient. The bottom line was that its cost was more in line with the other companies (except Code Red) but this company (Inspiron) could match that core service. As such, the $20,000 grant provides for a full two-year service contract to evaluate if the base level service is sufficient. If it is, then there is no reason to pay twice as much for Code Red. If it isn’t, we would know and could move to a higher-end service. On the other hand, if we start with the higher end service, we would quite likely want/need to switch out to try the other service once we were reliant on general fund resources, especially since it is nearly twice as much. In the coming weeks we will prepare the administrative procedures and final policy guidance needed for implementation.
Code Red was the first choice of the Technology Commission, given the parameters and information we were given. However, Inspiron (which was not on the original list of vendors) will provide us with the capability to contact all the citizens of Franklin or family of the elderly (if their family’s opt in) when there is a Tornado or an Emergency facing the citizens of Franklin. We will not have to depend on the ancient technology of an obsolete horn system we have currently contracted close to $150,000 for and will bring us to par with our neighbors in Oak Creek.
I for one will be one of the first to make sure ALL my family gets notified on their cell phones for these emergencies.
Here is Inspiron’s website so you can check them out: LINK