Timeline for city phone repairs extended

Homer city council approved last Monday an ordinance that extends the date to effect necessary repairs to the City telephone system. The repairs were initially approved and funded by Emergency Ordinance 23-38 on June 12.

Per Homer city code, emergency ordinances are valid for 60 days, which set Emergency Ordinance 23-38 to expire on Aug. 12.

An Aug. 3 memorandum to council from chief technology officer Bill Jirsa noted that the city’s IT team was likely to exceed the 60-day limit “by a matter of days” due to some complications that arose in preparing for the final stage of the system repair project. As such, staff recommended extending the deadline for the funds associated with Emergency Ordinance 23-38 by another 60 days.

Ordinance 23-47 does just that.

The emergency repairs to the city telephone system outlined four tasks:

Install, configure and test new telephone switching and voicemail servers at City Hall

Integrate the City Hall call management system with the police department’s system

Replace all handsets older than 16 years in use across city work centers

Manage the cutover from the existing phone system “in a short period of time (3 days).”

The memo notes that the first two tasks were completed as of Aug. 3 and that the new handsets to replace the old ones described in item three have been acquired.

“Additionally, all of this work is still on track with the original budget,” the memo states.

While the timeline for the project’s completion has been extended, the city’s IT team still expects the cutover from the existing phone system to the new to take the three-day period originally planned for.

Ordinance 23-47 was adopted by city council during their regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 14 as part of the consent agenda. No discussion was held on the ordinance during the meeting.

Previous reporting on the city telephone repair project can be found on the Homer News website at https://www.homernews.com/news/city-to-conduct-emergency-repairs-to-phone-system/.

The full ordinance and backup memorandum is available at www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/citycouncil/city-council-regular-meeting-297.