City of Washington

The city of Washington’s Volunteer Fire Department is getting some upgrades.

The city council Monday night gave the OK for the fire department to contract with Emergency Reporting to replace the department’s current Firehouse software for records management.

Washington Fire Chief Tim Frankenberg said the department has been using the Firehouse software for almost 25 years, which is outdated.

Frankenberg said Emergency Reporting offers NFIRS-compliant technology, is cloud-based, and integrates with the current CAD vendor, Omnigo and Active911. He said the program also allows for web access anywhere and unlimited users, which is an improvement for the department since Firehouse software users have to be on a city server.

The new software is a budgeted expense and will be taken from the other contracted services account, Frankenberg said.

The contract will run annually with an initial fee of $4,135, which includes setup. The program will cost $2,885 annually after the first year.

The fire department also received approval to enter into a contract with Lexipol, a company that provides support for emergency services with litigation mitigation through standards and practices that comply with local, state and national regulations and industry best practices.

“This will help the city limit its liability for what the fire department does,” Frankenberg said.

The department currently uses Target Solutions, which was the recommended platform in 2018.

“The program has not been utilized and only provides some aspects of training and no policy or procedure guidance,” Frankenberg said. “The fire department has decided to reallocate and save funds used for Target Solutions and in its place work with Lexipol to reduce exposure, locate and close gaps for better procedures.”

According to Frankenberg, the new program is estimated to save the city $500.

Other Business

The city council also approved the purchase of a John Deere 9520R scraper tractor and scraper for the Washington Street Department’s landfill services.

According to Street Superintendent Tony Bonastia, the new tractor and equipment was included in the 2020-21 budget in the amount of $400,000 for a new tractor and $175,000 for a new scraper totaling $575,000.

Bonastia reported to the council that the current heavy machinery the department uses, a 2000 Caterpillar 75E and 2000 CEPCO scraper, have exceeded their life span with both being over 13,336 hours and 37,740 miles.

The John Deere 9520R scraper tractor and scraper cost $500,825, which was well under budget, Bonastia said, adding the department will be trading in the old equipment and will be receiving $35,000 for both.

The city council also authorized the city going into its fourth year contract with Hothschild, Bloom and Co. LLP to conduct its annual audit, which will cost the city $20,100.

The city also was approved the purchase of GPS survey equipment for the engineering department, which will cost the city $29,785.

John Nilges, public works director, said the equipment had not been updated since 2008.

The city administrator’s salary of $106,496 for fiscal year 2020-21 was also approved. The salary did reflect a 1 percent increase for cost of living, Mayor Sandy Lucy said.