The Greenwood City Council unanimously approved using nearly $100,000 in federal relief funds to buy two new storm sirens and improve cybersecurity.
Council members voted 9-0 Monday night to approve using $95,000 in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, to fund the purchases. ARPA is a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package that delivered direct financial relief to Americans and distributed billions to states to respond to the pandemic and to give to cities, towns and counties.
The two new storm sirens will cost $69,000 total. They will be placed in far southwest and far southeast Greenwood, Assistant Fire Chief Brad Coy said last month.
Adding new sirens will ensure the public has plenty of hear ways to hear storm warnings. Some Greenwood neighborhoods are now outside the radius of being able to hear the sirens, which needs to be fixed, Coy said.
For the cybersecurity improvements, the city’s information technology department asked for $26,000 to purchase security cameras, servers and a firewall system.
The server will be for the newly constructed parking garage next to the Greenwood Fieldhouse. The original quote the city received for installing an Aviglon camera system from the vendor, ERS, had left out the server, said Rob Kolb, the city’s director of information technology.
By purchasing the servers, the city will save anywhere from $25,000 to $30,000.
“It was way more cost-effective for us to provide the server than for us to purchase an Avigilon server from ERS,” he said.
Additionally, since officials added more cameras to cover the entire parking garage, it wasn’t originally covered in the initial bid. This is why they needed additional funds, Kolb said.
For the firewall system, the city needed to purchase enterprise-grade firewall as the current firewall was not intended to be used for enterprise purposes. While doing this, officials also found out they needed to purchase an additional piece of hardware not originally apart of the contract with the vendor, Sondhi Solutions, he said.
“This appropriation covers that,” Kolb said.
With ARPA funds now allocated for these projects, the city has about $3.4 million left in relief funds. The remaining funds are required to be allocated by December 31, 2024, and completely spent by December 31, 2026.