The cost of a new maintenance contract for the county’s “core 911 system” is expected to rise due to Franklin County’s expanded system, said County 911 Director Vince Zagarri.

The county’s current contract with Century Link to maintain the 911 system costs $65,000 a year. Zagarri said he is almost certain that the new contract will be more.

The Franklin County Commission voted recently to seek bids from companies that may be able to provide maintenance on the county’s 911 system, which is called Intrado Viper and operates in Union, Pacific, Sullivan and Washington.

“We have an opportunity to select a potential alternate vendor,” Zagarri said. “The two primary vendors are going to be Century Link and AT&T.”

He added that the county is also securing bids from national providers.

“The most important thing is that we get good, trained technical personnel close or in Franklin County to maintain the system because this is where all of our 911 calls come through,” Zagarri said.

Century Link’s five-year contract with the county expires in May, he said, adding that the company has done a real good job in recent years. Century Link may get the contract again, Zagarri said.

The county’s 911 system is growing with more work stations and more applications, Zagarri said, adding that “it’s a whole bunch of databases.”

The county has “top-of-the-line equipment,” Zagarri said.

Century Link and AT&T employees receive special training to work on the equipment, he said.

Motorola also may submit a proposal for the maintenance contract, he said.