The Payson Town Council, at its May 27 meeting, approved the hiring of a New Jersey firm to assist in the development of up-dated fire and police computer-aided dispatch, record management and mobile data computing systems.
The firm selected, RCC Consultants, was chosen from a field of 15 applicants.
Town Manager Fred Carpenter and Police Chief Gordon Gartner said they were impressed by the experience RCC has in acting as project managers in police and fire computer systems.
According to Gartner, a new system will be more efficient, faster and handle more chores.
"The old system we have now was installed in 1991," he said. "It was outdated."
Funds for the $150,000 proposed contract with RCC will come from a bond issue passed last fall.
Following the passage of the bond, a committee made up of individuals from the police and fire services, along with Councilor Robert Henley, was formed to study police and fire computer systems. Almost immediately, committee members were convinced hiring a consultant and project manager was necessary
"Hiring RCC is the best approach to this," the chief said.
The committee contacted about 10 police and fire departments which had worked with the company. All the agencies praised RCC for their expertise.
The proposed contract with RCC was presented to the council by the town attorney's office.
Also on the agenda was a presentation from Jan Parson of Arizona Public Service and Councilor Judy Buettner about the Citizens Leadership Academy.
The program offers Payson residents the opportunity to apply for the academy's first class to begin Sept. 16. Classes will be held twice a month through Dec. 2.
At the academy, residents will learn about town services, study the responsibilities of the town council, boards and commissions and prepare for opportunities to serve the town.
Fire Chief Marty deMasi addressed the council with an update on the Wildland Fire Risk Evaluation Program.
The program was approved in February and since has evaluated 12 high hazard neighborhoods. The study was science-based, unbiased and cost efficient, deMasi said.
On the consent agenda was a first reading of an ordinance that would amend the zoning of property located near Underwood Lane in a subdivision located off Tyler Parkway.
The zone change would allow Patrick and Barbara Underwood to subdivide a plot of land into 14 lots.