Why officials say Wilton’s new emergency communications system will cost more

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WILTON — The nearly $1 million federal grant the city received may cover less than expected for the emergency communications project, officials said.

First coach Lynne Vanderslice said the city was still talking to Motorola about replacing the system, but the estimates were higher than originally expected.

“We have not finalized the cost of the system,” Vanderslice said Thursday, a day after holding a press conference to announce the acquisition of the $983,000 grant.

By the end of 2021, the city predicted the cost would range from $3.7 million to $4.2 million for replace your emergency radio system. These estimates came before the bidding process.

Vanderslice said on Thursday the supply “was higher than expected, due to the additional equipment needed and price increases in the current inflationary environment.”

She said city officials “continue to expect the grant to cover more than 20%, but less than 25%” of the total cost of the project. The exact percentage will be known once the offer is finalized, Vanderslice said.

The project would cost between $3.9-4.9 million based on Vanderslice’s comments that the $983,000 is 20-25% of the total. Vanderslice, however, declined to confirm the expected total cost.

The city made the decision to “lean” on the state police department system rather than build a stand-alone network.

Wilton Police Captain Thomas Conlan previously said the initial build price for the state option was higher, but annual maintenance for a stand-alone system would be more expensive in the long run.

The current emergency communications system has been deemed “end of life” by many officers and municipal officials. It was first implemented in 2002 and was built to last between 15 and 20 years.


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