City Council Grills Excalibur Owner; Holds Off On New $240,000 Contract

Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Roger Jenkins
Roger Jenkins

City Council members on Tuesday grilled the owner of Excalibur Integrated Systems, who was the recipient of millions of dollars in city contracts during the Littlefield administration.

The council is holding up on approving a new $240,000 Excalibur contract for extending wireless coverage for a section of Hixson Pike near Hixson High School for the city's Intelligent Transportation System (ITS).

Roger Jenkins said he could not remember the amount of his initial contract with the city five years ago for developing a "mesh" system for powering city wireless devices.

Council Chairman Yusuf Hakeem said he found that "weird."

Mr. Jenkins said he will research how much his firm of 20-22 employees has been paid by the city to date. He said the total expense of the mesh system thus far is from $8 million to $10 million, but he said some of that has gone to other firms.

He was quizzed about a $20,000 per month city contract for maintenance of the system. He earlier said it was a "self-healing" system and that when one part goes down other parts extend to continue the coverage. He said there is still maintenance work to be done to make sure too many parts of it do not fail. Also, he said the firm helps the city with component updates.

Steve Meyer, former county engineer and Volkert official who is now Excalibur executive vice president, said the firm gets 5-6 calls a day on different issues from the city's Information Systems department.

Mr. Jenkins said when the time came for setting up the ITS, using the mesh system saved the city 40 percent over use of fiberoptic and copper lines.

He said much of the funding has come from grants - not city appropriations.

Councilman Chris Anderson asked if any city employee had been involved with his company. He said former chief of staff Dan Johnson had been his longtime accountant prior to going into government.

Council members asked if another firm could do the ongoing maintenance and what would happen if the company went out of business. He said possibly one other Chattanooga firm could do the work. He said Excalibur has been around for 34 years and he has a succession plan. "We have other customers than the city of Chattanooga," he said. 

 


TBI Charges Morgan County Woman With Shooting Her Husband

Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have arrested a Morgan County woman accused of shooting her husband on Friday . At the request of 9 th District Attorney General Russell Johnson, TBI Special Agents began investigating the incident, which occurred shortly after 5 p.m. at the family’s home on Morgan County Highway in Sunbright. There, authorities ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADKINS, ERIC WADE  8331 MIDDLE VALLEY ROAD HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 34 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) ALFORD, JEFFERY LABRON  1549 MTN VIEW COURT CHATTANOOGA, 37409  Age at Arrest: 35 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Fourth Of July, 2015

As one who is about good and fed up with being “socially correct” so less than 10 percent of us can dictate how the other 90 percent of us ought to think, I am going to pause today in order to share a wonderfully fun email that has been around for a while. It is aptly called, “You Could Have Heard A Pin Drop.” Before I do, I got a sweet note the other day from my dear friend ... (click for more)

Weather Clears. Lookouts Drop Double-Header To Barons Friday

The Chattanooga Lookouts (44-31) dropped both game one, 3-1, and game two, 6-1, of tonight's doubleheader against the Birmingham Barons (38-38) in front of a sold-out crowd of 6,371.  This was the largest crowd of the year for Chattanooga and their first sell out of 2015. The Barons improved to 6-11 overall and 4-2 on the road against the Lookouts. Birmingham pulled even ... (click for more)

TSWA Announces All-State Softball Teams

 The Tennessee Sports Writers Association has announced its all-state high school softball teams for 2015. Local selections include: AAA - Kayla Boseman (Fr), Ooltewah and Hallie Davis (Sr), Walker Valley; AA - Kaili Crawley (Fr) of Central; A - McKenna Morgan (Jr), Sale Creek; and, Division II-AA - Lauren Lewis (Sr), Kayla Hughes (Sr) and Cheyenne Lindsey (Fr) of Baylor.  ... (click for more)