New security system to help city of Hoquiam

Jan. 24—The Hoquiam City Council passed a recommendation Monday night to beef up its security throughout five city properties.

The city council voted unanimously in favor of a new keycard security system upgrade.

"The current system is outdated and does not meet code compliance standards," read the city council packet that was sent from Hoquiam's Finance Director Corri Schmid. "We are unable to make any updates or changes to the system as the server is no longer working."

The new system, which will be upgraded through Genetec, will cost $140,192. The city obtained Genetec's quote "off the state contract," according to the council packet. There are no recurring monthly service charges. The total listed is a one-time purchasing fee.

The principle purchasing fee is slated to help upgrade security for five specific places, according to the council packet. The amounts below do not include the additional sales tax.

—Hoquiam Police Department — $39,329

—Hoquiam City Hall — $30,115

—Hoquiam Public Works — $25,182

—Hoquiam Waste Management — $17,055

—Olympic Stadium — $17,055

The purchase will come from American Rescue Plan Act COVID-19 relief funds, which were dispersed back in 2021 as part of a $1.9 trillion package from President Joe Biden's administration. The city of Hoquiam received a total of $2.4 million, according to The Daily World.

There wasn't much discussion at the meeting once Schmid read the recommendation to the council. But Steven Puvogel, council president, advocated for the need to upgrade the city's security.

"I think it's been laid out to us, hopefully by now, that this is super necessary. We have to maybe get into the 21st century on our security for these buildings. It might be a little bit more than we thought but it needs to happen. And it's ARPA funds, so it's a perfect use of the ARPA funds."

Mayor Ben Winkelman gave a little bit more insight into the city's need during the meeting.

"The timing is appropriate," Winkelman said. "We've had problems with our old system being unlocked when it's supposed to be locked, or just not working at all. It's certainly timely. Along with the improvements being made at Olympic Stadium, to include that facility is important as well."

As of Tuesday early afternoon, the timeline for the new system's install was not known.

Schmid explained in her own words the need for the new system.

"Our system is outdated and so we really need to upgrade," Schmid said.

Contact Reporter Matthew N. Wells at matthew.wells@thedailyworld.com for future story ideas.