MOUNT DESERT — Purchase and installation of a new telephone system for Town Hall and other town facilities will cost $66,269.
The board of selectmen approved that expenditure last month.
Previously, some board members had balked at spending about $71,000 on a new phone system, as recommended by a committee of three town department heads and a technology consultant.
Following that meeting, committee members met with representatives of Connectivity Works, the preferred phone system vendor, to see if some costs could be reduced.
The company agreed to lower its bid price by $3,750, and an additional $3,469 in savings was identified.
Public Works Director Tony Smith told Town Manager Durlin Lunt in a Jan. 28 memo that the town also would save an estimated $3,360 a year on its telephone bill.
“These savings are a result of our changing to the new digital PRI (primary rate interface), thereby reducing the number of plain old telephones (POTS) we will need,” Smith said. “The PRI is capable of carrying more multiple voice and data transmissions than the POTS lines.”
Under the agreement approved by the board of selectmen, the town will pay Connectivity Works $60,269 for the new phone system. It is estimated the town will pay consulting firm CES an additional $6,000 for technical support and materials not covered by the agreement with Connectivity Works.
The town manager and department heads have said the current telephone system is seriously outdated. It doesn’t connect all town departments to each other and is no longer supported by the manufacturer.
The new phone system will cover the Town Hall offices, police and fire departments, highway garage and wastewater treatment plants.
The selectmen approved the installation of the phone system by a vote of 4-1, with Tom Richardson casting the dissenting vote.