By Lee Weyhrich
CLAY — Clay City Councilman Ricky Baker announced Monday that a much cheaper alternative has been found for a camera system that can be used for public safety.
Several months ago the search began in earnest for a system that could monitor roads and allow law enforcement officers to track criminals. The city council approved $4,500 to purchase a Web-based camera system to be placed at the intersection of Old Springville Road and Chalkville Mountain Road.
The cameras broadcast wirelessly to a nearby computer and can even be accessed by sheriff’s deputies through wireless Internet. Unlike other systems the council had looked into, there is no monthly fee for this system.
The five-megapixel cameras will be primarily used to help deputies identify and deter criminals, and won’t be used to monitor traffic.
The computer system has a four-terabyte hard drive, and can handle and record up to eight other cameras. The intersection will be a test to determine the system’s effectiveness.
Previous camera systems the city researched cost as much as 10 times what this system will cost.
In other news, the council voted to do a year-end pay adjustment for employees in lieu of the traditional Christmas bonus. An additional $5,700 will be spread out among all city employees. Department heads will receive $500 each, while part-time department heads and team leaders will receive $350 each. Public Works full-time employees will receive $250 each, and part-time employees will receive $150 each.
Bids were opened for restrooms at Cosby Lake Park, and they ranged from $76,444.20 to $109,644. There are several reasons for the high costs. The depth of the sewer, Americans with Disabilities compliance and tamper-proof toilets are the biggest factors in the high cost.