The San Antonio City Council voted unanimously Thursday to award a 15-year, $108 million contract for a public safety radio system to Dailey-Wells, the company that has provided the service since 2004.

City Council’s support for Dailey-Wells came based on a City staff recommendation giving Dailey-Wells, which uses equipment manufactured by the Harris Corporation, an advantage because of its experience in the field. The two-way radio system is used by firefighters, police officers, and CPS Energy linesmen.

Despite the unanimous vote, three Council members attempted to delay the vote until March. A blackout period that forbids Council members from speaking with the bidders lifted a week ago, and Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran (D3) said that did not provide her enough time to have all of her questions about the contract answered.

“The buck and the accountability lies with us here on the City Council,” Viagran said. “We spent the whole process completely blacked out, and had this six days in order to gather all this information.”

Council members Shirley Gonzales (D5) and Ana Sandoval (D7) also supported the delay motion, but it ultimately failed.

Bexar County and CPS Energy partnered with the City of San Antonio for the contract. San Antonio is the majority partner in the deal with 56 percent ownership. The other two partners each receive 22 percent ownership. The total capital cost of the project is $80.7 million, with the City paying $46.6 million, Bexar County paying $17.1 million, and CPS Energy paying $14.4 million. The cost-sharing for an additional $2.6 million in project costs has not yet been determined.

As the majority partner, San Antonio will take responsibility for the roughly $27.3 million in maintenance and operations costs.

Dailey-Wells has 42 months to implement the new radio system. The current system will reach the end of its usable life by 2021.

In their vote to award the contract to Dailey-Wells, the City Council also approved the City’s interlocal agreement with CPS Energy and Bexar County.

But despite accepting the terms of the agreement on Jan. 11, Bexar County officials have said they have yet to agree to fund their end of the project, calling the partnership with the City of San Antonio and CPS Energy into question. Bexar County Commissioner Kevin Wolff (Pct. 3) told the Rivard Report on Tuesday that he anticipates the County will vote on the issue during the next Commissioner’s Court meeting.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Gonzales left for a Sister Cities Summit in Guadalajara, Mexico, during the meeting and did not vote on the matter. Viagran also did not cast a vote.

In a statement to the Rivard Report, Viagran stated she did not have enough information to support the contract, but trusted police and firefighter support of the recommendation enough to not cast a vote against the contract.

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Jeffrey Sullivan

Jeffrey Sullivan is a Rivard Report reporter. He graduated from Trinity University with a degree in Political Science.