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. 

 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALLEN, KIMBERLY M 2744 6TH AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37407 26 Chattanooga ASSAULT ALVEREZ-CRUZ, LISANDRO 7102 SHEPHERD VIEW CIRCLE CHATTANOOGA, 37421 19 Chattanooga SPEEDING DRIVING ON SUSPENDED LICENSE ANGLAND, JOSHUA JAMES 1843 BAYHILL DRIVE HIXSON, 37343 29 Hamilton County VANDALISM/MALICIOUS ... (click for more)

Mother Gets 20 Years In Death Of 4-Year-Old Son, Severe Injury To 3-Year-Old

Patricia Brewer was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison for the abuse death of her four-year-old son and severe injury of her three-year-old son. She appeared before Judge Rebecca Stern and entered guilty pleas to two counts of aggravated child endangerment. Police said the injuries came after the mother left them alone in the care of her boyfriend, who has a history ... (click for more)

Thanks For Publishing The Stokes Photo Book

I pre-ordered the Stokes Photo Book and picked it up Wednesday . The covers and content are very high quality and contain photos you will not see anywhere else.  This book of photos is worth much more than $35.  I have seen many historic photos of my hometown Chattanooga, but this collection is amazing. My favorites are National Cemetery, Confederate Cemetery near ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saban: ‘Ratings Don’t Matter’

When the first College Football Playoff rankings were released earlier this week, Alabama football coach Nick Saban got it right on the button when he shrugged, “I don't even care, to be honest with you." "To me, none of it matters, What does it matter?” he laughed at the Tide’s No. 6 ranking. “I mean, it only matters where you end up at the end. So what matters to us is how ... (click for more)

Owls Beat McMinn, 30-12, To Complete Unbeaten Regular Season

Undefeated. Sounds nice, huh. After a sluggish first half that produced only three points on a Laszlo Toser field goa., third-ranked Ooltewah came to life in the third quarter, riddled McMinn County’s defense with three Kelvin Leon touchdown passes in the third quarter and went on to beat the Cherokees, 30-12, at James N. Monroe Stadium to secure the school’s third unbeaten ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Clobbers Grundy Co. For 7-AA Title

Notre Dame coach Charles Fant is always hoping that his Fighting Irish football team can get off to a fast start. He never thought it would be as quick as what he saw Thursday night at Jim Eberle Field. With a District 7-AA championship on the line on an evening when they honored all of the fall senior athletes, a football game turned into a track meet and eventually a victory ... (click for more)