Dec. 16--WILKES-BARRE -- The city plans to fund the Hawkeye Security Solutions next year in preparation of a takeover of the camera surveillance system.
According to an agenda item for Tuesday night's work session, City Council will be asked to authorize the transfer of $150,000 from a line item in next year's budget to pay the non-profit corporation overseeing the system.
The network and camera system paid for with millions in state and federal funds went on line in 2010, but lost a $270,000 contract with Wilkes-Barre Area School District earlier this year that jeopardized its operation.
Hawkeye board members voted in October to prepare for the possibility of dissolving the corporation in anticipation of the city taking control.
At the time, the board was dealing with the loss of additional revenue after the Wilkes-Barre Parking Authority decided against renewing its three-year, $300,000 contract. But last month the authority reversed its decision and renewed the contract at an annual cost of $100,000. Once Hawkeye disbands, the city will take over the authority's contract.
The city said it would add to the funding and use a state grant to the city's Health Department to pay for operational costs, including the renewal of a network contract with Frontier Communications.
The city's share will come from the bioterrorism reimbursement line item in its $42.7 million budget for 2014. The city budgeted $327,532 for the reimbursement, and the Hawkeye payment takes up approximately 46 percent of the grant.
The city already has an ownership stake in the system. Half of the approximate 260 cameras are the city's. The remainder belong to Hawkeye.
The city also handles trouble-shooting through its information technology department. The police department and contractor Legion Security monitor the cameras in a control center at police headquarters.
Copyright 2013 - The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.