School District in Conn. Wants Video Surveillance Systems, Town Wants the Right Price

Both sides agree on the cameras, but the town wants to open up the project to a bidding process to lower the cost.

WETHERSFIELD, Conn. — Town officials here are in favor on one thing: its school system needs to install more surveillance cameras at its schools. Where they differ, however, is the cost.

The Hartford Courant reports that a request by the school system was tabled until they find the right price, eyeing a bidding process. The request was for $339,000 to install surveillance camera systems at six of the town’s seven schools, which averages to $56,500 at each school. Mayor Paul Montinieri said that price is too high after discussing it with other camera installers.

“It’s a good project,” said Deputy Mayor Steve Barry, “but we want to make sure we’re not overpaying as well.”

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The proposal calls for each of the district’s five elementary schools and one middle school to receive multi-camera systems. Wethersfield High School already has a state-of-the-art system, Superintendent of Schools Michael Emmett said.

The school system’s request was to tap into a surplus fund that formed from a number of capital projects that cost less than expected, according to Emmett. He also added that he’s spoken with town officials on requesting a bidding process, but that the $339,000 price tag could be accurate.

“It certainly could be that high,” Emmett said. “It could be less.”

School officials hope the surveillance systems will be installed this summer, but acknowledged that it could carry into the next school year depending on how long it takes to finalize the proposal and cost.

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