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County discusses school technology, new bridge
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The Warren County Financial Management Committee met Thursday afternoon to discuss bids on several county projects, as well as the possible disposal of surplus property.
First on the agenda was a bid for a digital two-way radio/ repeater system for the Warren County School System. According to Director of Schools Bobby Cox, the systems currently in use at several schools are out of date. 
“We’ve gotten with Communications Evolutions to develop a plan,” said Cox. “We weren’t really satisfied with the bid and there are some other schools that need some attention. What we would like to do is reject that, rebid once we get the plan from them to add on to our current system, and try to meet the needs of everybody. We’ve got issues at Morrison, some at Bobby Ray, some at the middle school with radios that are obsolete.”
County Executive John Pelham inquired about the current trial run at Morrison with Verizon’s Push to Talk system. 
“It works. It’s adequate I guess,” said Cox.
Drawbacks to this system are the $16 per phone additional charge and the need to specifically press a button to activate Push to Talk.
Cox continued, “It would be better just to have a handheld radio and repeater, so then you’ll just have to buy a battery. We tried it. It’s OK. It’s just not a long-term fix.”
The motion to rebid at a later date passed 6-0, with Pelham, Cox, Road Superintendent Levy Glenn, and Commissioners Terry Bell, Billy Earl Jones, and Herschel Wells voting.
The committee next discussed the bid for replacing Freeze Road Bridge, located off Jacksboro Road near Morrison. Bids ranging from $206,000 to 265,000 were received. 
Said Glenn, “I met with my engineer and told him we would go with the lowest bid which was Curbers.”  The bid from Curbers, Inc. was $206,873. However, with the county doing the paving $44,760 will be saved, making the actual cost $162,113.  Glenn estimates paving by the county will cost $24,000 to $25,000.
The motion to accept the bid from Curbers passed 6-0.
Next was the bid for a video conference solution for Warren County Schools. A video conference system can be used to link schools and allow students at one school to virtually attend classes and interact with students taking the same class at other schools. One instructor would be able teach a class that might be attended by only a few students at each school. The school systems currently utilizes YouTube to instruct students from Dibrell, Irving College, and Morrison.
One bid was made from the company that normally supplies this type of equipment to the schools. A unanimous vote of 6-0 passed the motion to accept the bid of $187,189 from Central Technologies, Inc.
The commission then voted 6-0 to accept a bid from Kidd Ford for the purchase of a used SUV for the Building & Environmental Codes Department. The vehicle, a 2003 Ford Explorer 4WD, will be purchased for $7,385, significantly less than the $12,000 approved in the budget.
The final item discussed was the disposal of county surplus property. The committee voted 6-0 to sell a 2001 Jeep Cherokee and 17 tables from the county building on govdeals.com.
Several surplus items from the school system will be taken to Morrison for disposal.