By Tony Parra
City councilors approved the ratification of agreements for the installation of equipment for video arraignment at the Municipal court on Tuesday at the city council meeting.
The first agreement is with Qwest providing video arraignment equipment. The city of Portales and the Administrative Office of the Courts agreed that the cost will be paid for by the AOC, according to the agreement. The equipment will be the property of the AOC and the AOC specifies what will be installed at both the Roosevelt County Detention Center and the Municipal Court.
“The judge spoke with the mayor last week,” Debi Lee, city manager, said. “We (Lee, Mayor Orlando Ortega and city attorneys) are satisfied with the agreement. We will pay for it and the courts will reimburse us.”
The recurring monthly charge for the service will be $282 and a non-recurring charge of $680 is included for installation of the equipment and wiring. Lee said the city will continue to be reimbursed as long as there is funding for the AOC. Councilor Mike Miller posed the question in regards to how stable the funding for the AOC is.
“There is $10 for every criminal charge and it goes into the fund,” Stephen Doerr, city attorney, said. “There is a huge fund earmarked for this. The way things are going, I doubt they’ll be a reduction in the fund.”
City councilors agreed to negotiate with Yucca Telecommunications on a Wireless Network Area for the city departments. There were packets sent out to companies such as CoNETrix, Yucca Telecommunications, Motorola, IBM and Qwest, but a Technology Department official said Yucca Telecommunications was the only company to turn in an application.
The fiber-optic technology would allow computers from different departments throughout the city to be tied together and work through intranet. Denise Burnett said in a previous meeting that the network would allow department heads to access budget totals and easier to match totals with the finance department.