South Portland OKs police pacts, fixes for CTV, pool

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Repairs for the air system at the municipal pool and new camera equipment for the town’s public-access cable TV station were approved by the City Council on Monday.

Councilors also approved new, three-year contracts for Police Department officers.

Town Manager Jim Gailey said there have been operational and mechanical problems that need to be addressed to ensure safety and air quality at the pool.

“It’s been an on-and-off problem for a number of years now, and it’s time to get it fixed,” he said.

Councilors approved an order to spend $105,800 for repairs to the air handling unit at the municipal pool. The 14-year-old unit is responsible for dehumidifying, ventilating and heating the air at the pool.

The job will go to AirTemp of South Portland, and will cover the cost of replacing parts and training Recreation Center staff on controlling the machinery.

Tim Gato, assistant director of Parks and Recreation, said fixing the air system is a top priority in his department.

“If the air’s not moving, it can get downright oppressive in there,” he said.

About $86,000 was set aside for the project in this year’s budget. Councilors decided to move the additional $19,000 from undesignated funds.

Another order was passed Monday to spend nearly $17,700 on new cameras and a new control system for South Portland Community Television, which records and broadcasts city business, including City Council and Planning Board meetings.

In a memo to councilors, Gailey said the technology at City Hall was created in the 1980s to be used as security cameras. The gear in Council Chambers is five to 15 years old, he said, and the control system is 15 years old, has been failing and is no longer supported by its manufacturer, Panasonic.

Tony Vigue, who runs SPC-TV, said the city desperately needs the new gear.

The current equipment “has been soldered and jumpered and just about everything you can do to keep it going for 15 years,” he said.

The bid went to Access A/V of Concord, N.H., and will pay for four Sony video cameras, one control unit and associated cables and power supplies.

Gailey said the result should be more reliable, higher-quality recordings.

The new Police Department contracts are with two unions.

The South Portland Police Patrol Association, which represents 41 officers below the rank of sergeant, will receive a 2 percent raise for the first half of 2012; a 1.5 percent pay increase for one year starting July 1, 2012, and another 1.5 percent increase for one year after that. The contract expires June 30, 2014.

The South Portland Police Command and Supervisory Unit, which represents nine lieutenants and sergeants, will receive a 2 percent raise for the first half of 2012 , a 1.5 percent raise for one year starting July 1, 2012,  and another 2 percent raise for the last year of the contract, which also ends on June 30, 2014.

Both contracts also included increases in stipends and clothing allowances.

Mario Moretto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or mmoretto@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @riocarmine.

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