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Administrative Services Committee Meeting

Douglas County, Nebraska

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The meeting convened at 1:26 p.m. in Room 903 of the Omaha-Douglas Civic Center, 1819 Farnam Street, Omaha, NE 68183. A copy of the Open Meetings Act is located on the wall near the entrance of the room. A notice of the meeting was published in the November 12, 2014 issue of The Daily Record. County Commissioners present at the meeting were Pam Tusa, Mary Ann Borgeson, Clare Duda, Marc Kraft, PJ Morgan, and Chris Rodgers. Others present at the meeting were Patrick Bloomingdale, Diane Carlson, Joe Lorenz, Marcos San Martin, and Kaieva Williams of Administration; Jerry Leahy of Public Property; Mark Conrey of 911/Communications (911); and Dan Esch of the Clerk/Comptroller’s office. Commissioner Tusa conducted the meeting.  

  1. 1)Discussion of outcome of bond issue.


Ms. Williams left the meeting during this item. Speaking during this item were Mr. Lorenz, Commissioner Borgeson, Commissioner Morgan, Mr. San Martin, Commissioner Rodgers, Ms. Carlson, Mr. Leahy, Mr. Bloomingdale, Commissioner Tusa, Mr. Conrey, and Commissioner Duda. Highlights from the discussion included the following:

n  Commissioner Borgeson said Mr. San Martin received the public safety bond issue voting results by ward and precinct from the Election Commissioner.

  • Commissioner Borgeson said Mr. San Martin will put those results on a map of the County so the Commissioners can see what the results look like geographically.    

n  Suggestions and things to keep in mind for the next attempt at the bond issue were discussed.

  • Placing the bond issue on the November 2016 ballot was discussed.
  • Commissioner Rodgers said turnout in the 2016 election will be higher due to the Presidential election.
  • Mr. Leahy said OPS will be placing a bond issue on the May 2017 ballot.
  • Commissioner Borgeson said the Commissioners need to do a better job of educating their constituents for the next bond issue.
  • Mr. Bloomingdale said the County can educate constituents about what the benefits would be of the bond issue, but they cannot tell constituents to vote for it.
  • Commissioner Rodgers said he thinks it would be beneficial to try to get Sheriff Dunning, Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer, and Omaha Fire Chief Bernard Kanger involved with educating the public on the benefits of the bond issue.
  • Commissioner Tusa said she thinks the wording for the next bond issue needs to be more condensed and more focused on the 911 and public safety pieces.

n  Mr. Lorenz said in two years, getting the new 911 equipment becomes essential because it will be mandated and because Motorola will not support the County’s current equipment anymore.

  • Mr. Lorenz said even if the citizens vote down the bond issue again, the County will still have to buy the 911 equipment because the County has to buy it.

n  911 equipment needs and how to pay for those needs were discussed.

  • Mr. Conrey said the upgrades needed for the base stations is around $6 million, which makes up the biggest portion of the costs associated with the 911 equipment upgrades.
  • Mr. Conrey said the base station upgrades can wait two years for the bond issue.
  • Mr. Lorenz said if most of the 911 upgrade costs are not included in the next bond issue, he believes the chances of the bond issue passing becomes much riskier because then the renovation of the Fitz Home would make up the majority of what the bond issue is for.
  • Mr. Conrey said although 911 can wait two years for the base station upgrades, it is in a position where it cannot wait two years for some of the other equipment needed.
  • Mr. Conrey said 911’s current consoles have gone out of support, so 911 cannot get the piece parts needed for those consoles.
  • Mr. Conrey said for the consoles and the items that go with it, Motorola has proposed a total price of around $1.702 million (after incentives), but he believes he can get Motorola to bring the price down to around $1.5 million.

v  Commissioner Morgan said it may be worth seeing if Motorola could knock the price down to $1.5 million and then claim $200,000 as a donation.

  • Motorola proposed an option of financing the cost of $1.702 million over 7 years with an annual rate of 3.11% and annual payments of $266,068.
  • There would be no down payment and no payments for 12 months.
  • Mr. Lorenz said there would be a lease-purchase option with no penalty in the lease.
  • Mr. Lorenz said the idea is the County would make one or two payments, then take the proceeds from the bond and exercise the lease-purchase option to buy the equipment.
  • Mr. Lorenz said he talked to Parker Schenken of Baird Holm to see if the County could do this, and Mr. Schenken said he’d have to research it more but he believes the County can do this.
  • Mr. Conrey said the County’s 911 infrastructure is done by Motorola, so that is why the County needs to go through Motorola for this equipment.
  • Commissioner Rodgers said NACO has a public finance authority.
  • Commissioner Rodgers said he would gather more details to see if it’s something the County could possibly use.
  • Mr. Conrey said he’ll continue to talk to Motorola to try to get the price down to $1.5 million, as well as work with Mr. Lorenz and the County Attorney’s office, and try to get something in front of the County Board by December 16th.

n  Commissioner Borgeson said the 911 discussions with Sarpy County will continue.

  1. 2)Discussion regarding combining City and County locations.

Speaking during the item were Commissioner Tusa, Mr. Leahy, Commissioner Morgan, Commissioner Borgeson, and Mr. Lorenz. Highlights from the discussion included the following:

n  Mr. Leahy said he has contacted Mike Oestmann from City Public Works, and they are going to review the City and County properties and see what’s available.

  1. 3)Other Business.


There was no other business.

The meeting adjourned at 2:03 p.m.

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