An upgrade in the village administration’s telephone system is almost complete in Genoa.
The communications update was necessary given the old system was nearly 15 years old, administrator Kevin Gladden said.
Liberty Consulting, also known as ISSO, is the company charged with handling the changeover. The estimated cost is about $12,000 but the final bill won’t be issued until the project is finished in the next few weeks, according to Chuck Brinkman, village fiscal officer.
Capabilities of the new system far exceed the old system.
“The (old) phone system is pretty simple. It’s about 15 or 16 years old,” Gladden said.
New options will enable staff members to access their phone calls and messages easier.
“It makes it a lot better if you are willing to use the options,” Gladden noted regarding the new technology.
Gladden’s telephone messages can be routed through a computer and will send messages to his cell phone while he’s in the field.
“Since I’m mobile a lot, it will go to my phone in the form of a text or email,” says Gladden whose is often checking on work progress of public utility crews throughout the village. “The message will follow me wherever I go.”
Police Chief Bob Bratton is also ready to embrace the new system.
A new, separate phone system just went on line for the police department phone system on Friday.
Bratton especially likes that he can forward his calls to his cell phone when he leaves the office. Or, from an outside location, he can call in and access his messages.
“It’s going to be a lot easier for people to get a hold of us. When you’re a small department, like we are, people like to be able to reach you to talk about a number of things,” the chief said.
The office already offers an alert system when a visitor arrives at the office and finds it empty. Press a button in the lobby and an officer is sent to stop by to check in with the visitor.
Still, in the event of an emergency, Bratton notes common sense must prevail. Don’t leave messages, Bratton stresses. In those instances, call 9-1-1 or the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office main line (419-734-4404) manned by dispatchers 24 hours a day.