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Water agency considers West Beach for surveillance system

Posted: March 18, 2008 2:44 a.m.
Updated: May 19, 2008 5:02 a.m.
Five years after consultants recommended video surveillance be installed at key water resource sites in Santa Clarita, money-watchers at the Castaic Lake Water Agency are now recommending a company to install the cameras.

Members of the agency's Finance and Administration Committee are scheduled to meet tonight and vote on a motion to recommend that the agency Board of Directors hire West Beach Systems to begin implementing a video surveillance system.

The agency began reviewing its security after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"This was in response to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) requirement and that was the result of a security matter, resulting from 9-11," said Valerie L. Pryor, the agency's administrative services manager.

Despite the long wait from the time video surveillance was recommended, the agency is able to make big savings in the deal.

The agency budgeted $814,500 for the right video surveillance system but is now looking at a total stimated cost of only $542,000.

The contract with West Beach Systems is for a total of $363,000; this includes a 10 percent contingency cost on top of the base cost of $330,000 to West Beach.

Comparatively, consultants - Client First Consulting Group - advising the agency about the video urveillance project ended up costing the agency $144,000, almost half the actual video cost. An additional$25,000 is earmarked as paying for agency labor and $10,000 set aside for miscellaneous costs, according the cost breakdown of the $542,000 total cost prepared for the committee.

"This is the first phase of the project," Pryor said. "We anticipate further phases."

In 2002, the agency hired Kennedy/Jenks Consulting to prepare a Preliminary Design Report to assess how vulnerable the agency was.

Three years later, the report - deemed confidential for security reasons - was completed. It recommended the agency install a video surveillance system.

A year later, the agency hired another consulting group - Client First Consulting Group - for the design and project management of the system, which worked closely with agency engineers and technology staff to design the video surveillance system.

West Beach was the lowest bidder on three companies that competed for the contract.

Tonight's meeting is open to the public beginning at 6.30 p.m.


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