RIVERSIDE – Residents calling Riverside Village Hall in 2014 will have a much better chance talking to a human being because of a new Internet-based phone system that the Village Board approved for purchase at their Thursday night meeting.
Jessica Frances, the village finance director, said the price of installing the new system, $70,213, will be offset by the savings it will net down the road, including a reduction in maintenance and repair costs as well as an annual savings of $7,000, a result of shutting down seldom-used phone lines.
Frances said the village had prepared to spend more for the new system.
“The project will, as a whole, come in $46,000 under budget,” Frances said. “Believe me, I’ve come up with every contingency I can think of so that I don’t have to come back to the board for more money if other costs come up.”
The new system will be installed by Telcom Innovations Group, whom France said did an extensive walkthrough with the staff members, who will be using the new system the most, before the village committed to paying them.
Among several helpful features is the ability to add phone lines to the same village numbers on the fly. Frances said that means during severe weather, a high-volume call time, fewer residents will end up hearing busy signals.
The board approved the new phone system funding unanimously.
Other purchases approved by the board include $150,000 for fuel for village vehicles, $29,796 to Morton Salt Company for rock salt for the winter, $31,680 to SKC Construction to fix cracks in village streets and $202,638 to J.A. Johnson Paving Company for the year’s Street Rehabilitation Program.
The purchases were approved unanimously by the board.
The board plans to discuss next year’s budget further at their Nov. 7 meeting before possibly approving it in late November or early December.