County Commission moves forward with MCSO phones

Lauren Estes-Velez

Hartselle Enquirer

After a long bidding process, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office has agreed on the terms for a new inmate phone service, which will incorporate 116 new phones into the Morgan County jail.

Sheriff Ana Franklin said they are extremely happy to finally have come to this agreement and begin implementing the phone service system into the jail.

“One of the things we did – the Alabama bid law is complicated – was to make sure that the bidder’s features that you need and the rates or fees are the lowest they can be,” Franklin said. “That’s why the bid was so comprehensive; it was about 30 pages. The rates were lower than what the FCC and Alabama called for. We picked one where the rates were set and the fees are capped and limited. That is something that changed for the families that are involved. Now they will know exactly what they are paying – that’s something we were excited about it.”

Franklin said that their jail phone rates are one of the lowest in any of the jails in Alabama.

“We were concerned about making sure that we have up-to-date software, and the bid went out to get investigative tools included in on the phone service that we needed,” Franklin said. “We wanted to be able to do word searches and record conversations in an easier way and store them in a more efficient way. We also wanted to be able to keep up with who was calling inmates and putting in money, and that helps us with our security. We feel like the bid law was accomplished, and we were able to get the fees and rates at limited cost to their families.”

Franklin said it will be a month or so before the entire process is implemented into the jail because of the software being updated.

“The agreement just went out yesterday and was signed Tuesday, so right now we’re in the changeover process,” Franklin said. “We have 116 phones to get updated, including all the software and equipment. When the initial jail was done with the old phone service, everything was in analog, and now it is digital. So now, we can accommodate all the technology that is in there and that has not been updated in years.”

In other business the commission:

•Adopted a resolution authorizing the chairman to execute the grant agreement from the Alabama Department of Youth Services in the amount of $343,000 for residential and non-residential services for Morgan County youth who would otherwise be committed to the Department of Youth Services, FY 2017-2018.

•Adopted a resolution authorizing the chairman to enter into an agreement with the State of Alabama, (acting by and through the Alabama Department of Transportation) and the Town of Eva covering the construction cost associated with the paving of various streets. The project has an estimated cost of $400,000, with $133,333.34 being State Public Road and Bridge Funds, $133,333.33 Town of Eva funds and $133,333.33 being the County match. (Project Number MCP 52-145-17; ST-052-999-011) District 3.

•Adopted a resolution accepting the Right of Way for Shaddix Road, located in Sections 19 and 24, Township 8 South, Range 2 West, District 3.

•Adopted a resolution authorizing the chairman to execute an agreement between North Alabama Regional Council of Governments and Morgan County Commission on Aging relative to transportation services.

Adopted a resolution authorizing Greg Abercrombie, District 4 commissioner, to request bids for a new 2500 single cab, four wheel drive truck with a utility bed.

•Adopted resolution authorizing Amanda Scott, revenue commissioner, to hire a temporary employee.

•Adopted a resolution authorizing the elimination of administrative assistant, Commission Office, Grade 4, ($12.90 – $16.84) and creating and filling the position of business service coordinator, Grade 7, ($16.70 – $21.79), effective Nov. 13, 2017.

•Adopted a resolution authorizing the appropriate elected official/department head to fill the following position: equipment operator III, Grade 7 ($16.70-$21.79) in District 3.

•Adopted a resolution approving the refund of Deed Tax, recorded in error in the Morgan County Probate Office, for Cory Clark – Foreclosure Services, Inc., in the amount of $33.96.

•Adopted a resolution approving up to $5,000 payable out of the contingency fund to install additional door and stalls at Morgan County Animal Shelter Barn.

•Adopted a resolution authorizing the chairman to execute the following contracts representing the promotion of Morgan County, which will be payable out of the Tourism, Recreation & Convention Fund as follows: Decatur Alabama Kennel Club (Cotton Cluster Dog Show), $200.

•Adopted a resolution authorizing Budget Amendments for September 2017.

•Adopted a resolution authorizing disbursements for August 2017, totaling $5,088,880.13

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