Infrastructure and equipment needs – both above and below ground – highlighted Monday’s New Castle Board of Works meeting.

Dispatch servers

911 Dispatch Director Butch Baker was called to the podium to deliver his plan on the new 911 servers he’s been trying to get the city to agree to. The County Commissioners have already signed off on the plan.

“The server is over eight years old, and in an effort to be proactive, we would like to upgrade the Spillman Server,” Baker told the board of works members.

The current Spillman server has an annual maintenance contract in the amount of $6,757 for 2021. Baker submitted a financial proposal from SCALE Computing company for $55,003.23 for 60 months, without having to put any money down, at a rate of $1,100 per month. This would make the yearly payment of $13,200.

The current Henry County 911 budget for server costs is $6,757. Baker said this money could cover more than half of the cost of the SCALE server.

His plan is for the Henry County and New Castle governments to split the remaining annual balance of $6,443 – about $3,221 each – for the 60 month plan.

Baker said all he is short from the upgrade is the $3,221 from the City of New Castle. The city would be paying more than what they currently do for the current server.

“We’re in dead trouble when it comes to communication,” Mayor Greg York added, “This isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity, and we need to do something.”

York made the motion to approve the terms of the new 911 server, and it was passed 3-0.

CSO project

The next part of a major city infrastructure project is off to a good start, even though no dirt has been moved yet.

At Monday’s meeting, the New Castle Board of Public Works and Safety opened bids for Phase 3 of a four-part project to separate storm and sanitary sewers in a major effort to reduce combined sewer overflow (CSO). Six bids were received for the work, which will take a majority of 2021.

Keith Bryant, vice president of United Consulting who has worked with New Castle on infrastructure projects for more than three decades, was pleased by the response.

The bids ranged from $7.1 to $8.1 million. Bonds were sold long ago to fund the project. There will be no additional cost impact to the citizens of New Castle. The company whose bid was chosen was Brackney, INC. out of Brookeville.

New Castle is far from alone in its quest to separate sanitary from storm sewers. Bryant said there were 106 places in Indiana that are combined sewer communities and face the same state mandate.

Police vehicles

New police cars are also coming to New Castle, as the board of works and safety approved the quotes for the police car leases. However the city is still waiting on the other cars, primarily the Dodge Durangos.

The New Castle Board of Public Works and Safety will meet again at 10 a.m. March 1.