CSD board seeks bid to install cameras around community
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Aug 23, 2014 | 4080 views | 8 8 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A security camera watches over visitors to the gazebo at Wicklund Park in Mountain House on Tuesday. The camera is one of two on the gazebo ceiling.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
A security camera watches over visitors to the gazebo at Wicklund Park in Mountain House on Tuesday. The camera is one of two on the gazebo ceiling. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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A security camera watches over activity in the  gazebo at Wicklund Park in Mountain House on Tuesday. The camera is one of two in the gazebo.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
A security camera watches over activity in the gazebo at Wicklund Park in Mountain House on Tuesday. The camera is one of two in the gazebo. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
slideshow
MOUNTAIN HOUSE — ‘I see you’ is the message the Mountain House Community Services District wants to convey to visitors with a proposal to install video cameras around the entrances to the community.

Four members of the five-person board of directors voted in favor of allowing interim General Manager Gabe Karam to seek a request for proposals to set up traffic and safety cameras. Director Jim Lamb was absent from the Aug. 13 meeting.

According to Karam, the cameras would be installed at the six entry points to the community, including Mountain House Parkway and Kelso Road.

He said the RFP would be to determine the cost of each camera, installation, implementation and maintenance.

Director Celeste Farron questioned both the initial cost for the staff to prepare the RFP and evaluate bids, as well as the estimated cost of the program, which she cited as $100,000. Karam told her it could cost as much as $200,000, but the RFP had already been drafted at no additional cost to the community.

“It’s ready to go,” Karam said. “There is no additional cost other than mailing it or emailing it to consultants. If it comes back way too high, then I’ll present it to you.”

He said it would take about a day for staff members to review bids.

“Though we need and desire certain things in this community, we have to weigh cost to quality of service,” Farron said. “This is an extreme cost to me.”

Director Andy Su expressed skepticism about the usefulness of cameras against crime. He reminded the rest of the board that there were already cameras in a gazebo at Wicklund Park to deter vandals and said that the last time he visited, the cameras had been painted over.

“If we’re spending $30,000 per camera, I hope it is somewhere that is very difficult (to reach),” he said. “I would like to see more and more data. I think we have to have stuff backing it up.”

The per-camera estimate of $30,000 was based on the overall cost being around $200,000, Karam said. He said that figure came from an engineers’ estimate.

Karam said similar cameras were used in the city of Ripon to monitor suspicious vehicles.

“When a suspicious vehicle enters the city, they run the license plate,” Karam said. “It is such an amazing tool.”

“We want to go out and explore what the technology exists out there,” he said. “How can it help us? It will really save in the long run.”

Unlike Ripon, which monitors its cameras around the clock, Karam said that Mountain House would keep camera recordings to be reviewed by law enforcement if a crime should occur.

If the board were to accept a bid in response to the RFP, the funds to set up and maintain traffic and safety cameras would have to be appropriated from the Special Tax Fund for roads.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at drizzo@tracypress.com or 830-4225.

 
Comments
(8)
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yepper
|
August 26, 2014
GEE Tracy Press .... How about something called ... Errr ... NEWS ?

Like the 200 Full - Time jobs @ Amazon ? Don't you think maybe ? Someone in town might want to hear about this BEFORE FRIDAY ?

Sad publication .........
Seek_the_Truth
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August 25, 2014
Big Brother?
ertion
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August 25, 2014
This article is omitting a key fact: This isn't just about cameras, which would be a useless expenditure. Nope, the cameras are feeding into a a database, which will contain a record of every car license plate coming and going, the times, the persons in the car. That is a gold mine of data that could be and probably will be mined for information above and beyond the very occasional crime that needs looking into.

Do you want 24 x 7 surveillance over every person in Mountain House, making a permanent record of their comings and goings, on account of an infinitesimally small percentage of criminals? What a stupid town! I'm glad I never purchased property there. I"m rooting for the copper thieves on this one...
Wobbley
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August 25, 2014
They couldn't afford traffic signals, and had most of them removed....

Problem they have is copper thieves. No one has stopped this where it needs to be stopped, at the recycle companies.
tracyresdnt
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August 24, 2014
Mountainhouseman, I wouldn't want to be your neighbor, you probably drive a suspicious vehicle.
mountainhouseman
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August 23, 2014
Who or what determines a "suspicious vehicle"? sounds like another way to target a people of color or those that we think don't belong.
mthouseman
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August 23, 2014
wow...didn't take long for the race card to be played in this round...
tracyresdnt
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August 23, 2014
Great idea. We should have as many as we can afford. It's a preventative measure that will payoff big time in the future. Just make sure it's well advertised throughout the community.


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