City receives $1.9 million from CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund

Drew Butler
News alert

The City of Ardmore recently received a $1.9 million in grant funding from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund. City commissioners approved a resolution on Tuesday confirming that these funds are to be “substantially dedicated” to COVID-19 response efforts.

Ardmore City Manager J.D. Spohn said the grant came to a total of $1,903,727.41 and was determined with a formula of $77 per capita. The city will be following the guidelines put in place by the 2020 CARES Act Funding Manual to ensure the funds are allocated correctly.

“The 2020 CARES Act Funding Manual has advised that a resolution be adopted to confirm that it is the policy of the City of Ardmore that all Public Safety personnel costs are ‘substantially dedicated’ to the COVID-19 response efforts of the City of Ardmore,” Spohn said.

The manual provides step-by-step guidelines for all Oklahoma municipalities for the receipt of CARES Act funding.

A portion of these funds will be used to upgrade the employee time keeping system utilized by the city. The city commission voted to approve the upgrade at a cost of $242,640. This number includes the new terminals along with 60 months of maintenance.

Director of Information Technology Rob Newell said the city has been using a biometric time keeping system since 2015, and employees clock in by scanning their fingerprints. Because multiple people scan their prints on the same machine, this could potentially spread coronavirus via surface contact.

“In the light of COVID-19 concerns, it has been advised that we upgrade the biometric terminals to ones that include a temperature reader and voice activation,” Newell said.

The commission also voted to approve the purchase of a new computer-aided dispatch record management system (CAD/RMS) to manage police records. The new system will cost just under $640,000 and will be paid out over the course of two fiscal years.

Newell said federal and state mandates say the CAD/RMS must be compliant with statewide and nationwide reporting systems. The software currently being used by the city is not in compliance, and Newell said the software company has not been able to make the changes necessary to become compliant.

“For the past 18 months Omnigo has been given the opportunity with our encouragement to become compliant,” Newell said. “As of this date they have failed to become so and we have been led to believe they will not be able to meet the state’s requirements.”

After contacting the state for a list of vendors that meet the state’s requirements, the city chose to go with the company New World. The implementation process for the new system will take from 12 to 18 months.