NC Telecom, commissioners cut deal on DS3 line division

$28,000 of prepaid services to cover work

As the old saying goes, "the only way to be sure a compromise is fair is that everyone comes away from the negotiations unhappy."

The Moffat County Board of Commissioners, the Colorado State Patrol and NC Telecom have come to another agreement. Each party agreed they had to be flexible and work toward a solution so that the Moffat County Public Safety Center could come together on time, on budget and fully functional.

But that doesn't mean everybody has to like being flexible.

The three entities battled over who was responsible to pay for the separation (demarcing) and installation of the T1 lines that will service the Colorado State Patrol Dispatch Center, which will be located in the Public Safety Center.

"The State Patrol is in the process of signing the contracts and operating agreements, which should take about two weeks to circulate through their department," Moffat County Commissioner Marianna Raftop-oulos said. "I talked to Dick Schmidt [of the State Patrol] about the T1 lines and found out the state has no funds to do the demarcing."

Raftopoulos said the contract is clear: The county is responsible only for bringing the DS3 line to the Public Safety Center, but trying to force the state into a corner for renegotiations or more money not possible, since the legislature has changed considerably from the time the deal was originally constructed, Rafto-poulos said.

Public Safety Center Project Director, Jim Robertson, agreed.

"There was a day there when I thought all the agreements would unravel over this issue, but we've found a solution that everyone can live with," he said.

With the help of NC Telecom, a solution was found.

"NC Telecom has agreed to do the demarcing into T1s without charging us labor and giving the equipment to us at cost," Raftopoulos said. "The bill for this will be no more than $28,000, which NC Telecom has agreed to take from our prepaid services account."

The county spent $1.2 million on prepaid services. That money will fund service to county entities for several years before they have to pay for the service themselves.

Raftopoulos said she did not want to spend any more of the county's money for this work. With this solution, she said, no money needs to be allocated to solve the problem. The state will take over the operation and maintenance of the lines after they are hooked into the system, Raftopoulos said.

"I would like it understood by the State Patrol that we will be opening the operating agreement to deal with a couple of issues, and that we will look to recover the $28,000 we spent to deal with these lines," Moffat County Commissioner T. Wright Dick-inson said.

Robertson said the State Patrol was aware of the county's intentions, and was agreeable to the county opening the operating agreement at a later date to deal with the last-minute agreements.

"I'm pretty amazed by how this process has come together," Robertson said. "The city, county and state have worked together in this process without a clear, concrete plan, instead operating on handshakes and goodwill, working through the conflicts as they come.

"It's the only time I've seen that kind of cooperation at this level, and with a project of this size."

Robertson said the building is in on schedule to meet the July 9 construction deadline.

In other business, the board

Passed Resolution 2001-23, which sets the prices for requesting copies of county records. The first 25 pages a year will be free, with each additional page costing $1, or whatever rate individual departments set. The same arrangement will be available to county employees.

Passed Resolution 2001-25, making the Public Safety Center building and site a smoke free environment.

Approved the purchase of a Jeep Cherokee for the Road and Bridge Department. The county will pay $11,500 and exchange an older Cherokee.

Approved a conditional use permit for UBET Communic-ations to construct and operate a 100-foot tower and 12x20-foot building at 20 Ranney St.

Accepted a bid from TerraSmith Consulting to handle the GPS project, which includes mapping county roads. The board authorized up to $20,000 for the agreement, because the price of the GPS equipment has yet to be finalized.

Approved tax abatements totaling $26,682.06 for Tom Brown, Inc. The abatements are for the 1998 and 1999 tax years, and are based upon Tom Brown, Inc., utilizing netback methodology to properly recalculate their tax burden.

Approved up to $7,000 for the Museum of Northwest Colorado to pursue a Native American collection that is coming up for auction. The money will be used in conjunction with other monies donated to the Museum to enter a bid for a collection of Ute artifacts.

Discussed how the County Assessor's office would handle the additional workload of the GIS/Private Land Ownership project planned with the Bureau of Land Management.

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