Town to award $26,471 tender next week
Amherst is expected to award the tender next Monday for video surveillance equipment in Victoria Square and around town hall.
Amherst town council expected to consider a $26,471 tender to Access Security during its regular March session on Monday. Council discussed the matter during its committee of the whole meeting last night.
AMHERST – Amherst is moving forward with plans to place security cameras, not only in Victoria Square, but also around the Dominion Public Building.
Town council will consider the award of a $26,471 tender to Access Security during its regular March session on Monday. Council discussed the matter during its committee of the whole meeting on Monday.
“The solution we’re recommending includes two cameras in Victoria Square, one at the front of town hall for the sidewalk along Victoria Street, one at the northwest corner of town hall for the alley by the Baptist church and two in the north end of town hall for the back parking lot,” deputy CAO Jason MacDonald told council.
The town started exploring video surveillance of Victoria Square after vandals damaged a number of light fixtures at the front of the park last summer. The damage cost several thousand dollars to fix, while there have been other issues in the square, including people hanging out in the bandstand area late at night.
Not included in the request for proposals, but recommended for purchase from the lower bidder, are two indoor security cameras for the town hall lobby, one audio recorder for the front desk at town hall and one monitor for dedicated viewing at the police department.
The deputy CAO said the cameras and audio recorder in the lobby are required for security reasons and to give the town better information when dealing with customer complaints.
MacDonald said the approved capital budget for the cameras was $10,000 and for Victoria Square only, but the request for proposals also included the outside of town hall.
He said the funding will come from the unused portion of the budget for the town hall furniture that had a budget of $18,000 but an actual cost of $10,500. As well, he said, cleaning the stonework on the outside of town hall had a tender of $17,000 plus $4,000 for repointing work on a budget of $30,000.
Coun. George Baker questioned the need to spend that much money on security.
“When I read this over I questioned why are we spending that much money and putting cameras all around town hall and the square,” Baker said. “Have we had trouble around the town hall? Do we need to spend this kind of money, do we need all the cameras?”
MacDonald said there has been vandalism in the square, while there have been issues in the alleyway at night.
“Are the issues major? Probably not, but we have the prices and the ability to move forward with it,” MacDonald said. “We’ve also had instances in the town hall, not physical, with people raising their voices and becoming accusatory. It would be nice if we can record this to know if we handled it in an appropriate manner.”