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Washington County 911 Upgrade could include pricey work stations

When Washington County Supervisors vote to approve a 1.5 million dollar upgrade to it 911 dispatch center, one of them will not be voting in favor if it includes about $100,000 for new desks, cabinets and counters.

"It's like that James Bond movie where he goes to see Q in the laboratory and he shows him this Aston Martin with all these gizmos," says Hartford Supervisor Dana Haff. "These desks are like an Aston Martin car and we could use a Chevy."

The desks Public Safety Director William Cook would like to install are like some that have been used by other agencies for years. They would rise whenever an operator wants to stand and work in order to stretch. The surfaces would be anti-microbial, designed to prevent sickness and reduce overtime costs. Air purifiers would be part of each work station. Cook says the $100,000 includes cabinets and counters.

"I'm not trying to waste taxpayer dollars, by any means, I never have," says Cook. "I'm looking at what's the best value and what's best for our situation, best for our people who have to sit there day in and day out and use it."

Cook says 911 operators sometimes spend sixteen hours on a shift. Similar desks are in use in Schoharie County, Rensselaer County has one, according to a spokesman there and Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says his center has used them for five years.

Cook says the next-best price he found was a system that came with desks which, by themselves, cost $110,000.