The Fort Atkinson City Council Tuesday approved purchasing 22 security cameras to be installed in six different locations throughout the city to help counter vandalism throughout the community.
The cameras, from Ignatex, LLC, Janesville, will cost $12,271.54 including installation and staff training. The Fort Atkinson Community Foundation will provide $12,500 through a grant toward the cost of this project.
Brooke Franseen, Fort Atkinson Parks and Recreation director, said that, unfortunately, there always has been vandalism throughout the City of Fort Atkinson.
“In the last year, the Parks and Recreation Department and the police department have seen an increase in the amount of vandalism throughout the parks in the city,” Franseen said. “When someone spots an area that has been graffitied, we ask they report it to the police department or the Parks and Recreation Department.”
The police department, she said, will document it, then parks staff will paint over it. In addition, she said, receipts of the repairs are documented in hopes the police department will catch the perpetrator, who might be assessed damages.
“After a few incidents that cost us hours of staff time and a chunk of our budget to purchase graffiti remover — one incident took 12 bottles of remover costing the department $320 — we started researching security cameras,” Franseen said. “Being conscious of our budget, we had researched placing cameras only in the highly used parks that hold expensive equipment and are graffitied the most.”
After receiving quotes to purchase 22 cameras to cover six locations, ranging from $11,500 to $37,000, parks staff submitted a Fort Atkinson Community Foundation grant request due to the quotes exceeding their budget, she said. The community foundation awarded the Parks and Rec department $12,500 to assist with the security camera project.
Fort Atkinson Community Foundation (FACF) funds, she said, will be used toward a security camera system in the following locations: Ralph Park, five cameras; Wheels Park, two cameras; Jones Park, six cameras; Rock River Park football field, four cameras; Rock River Park clubhouse, two cameras; and Memorial Park, three cameras.
“The funds from the FACF grant will cover the installation of six Network Video Recorders, all wiring for the cameras, six wireless bridges to remote locations, programming the system and staff training on how to use the system,” Franseen said.
The director said the proposed cameras and equipment through Ignatek all are set for expansion at each location if the city decides to add additional cameras.
She said the warranty for the cameras and recorders is three years, and that the life expectancy of the cameras in ideal conditions would be the life of the building. Lifetime support also is provided for the cameras, which will feature color night vision.
“The camera system will not be viewable remotely due to the lack of WiFi at the parks,” Franseen said. “Both the Parks and Rec Department and police department will have access to all camera footage by bringing a portable computer monitor to the location if the area has been vandalized.
“Our ultimate goal is to keep our parks and open spaces clean, safe, and visually appealing to residents and guests,” she added. “The camera system will assist by acting as a deterrent and by catching those undeterred.”
The total amount for the electrical portion of the project is $2,600 and will be funded through the parks electrical account, the director noted. The remaining $71.54 will be covered through the parks supply account.
“Staff prefers Ignatek’s proposal as the company currently is the city’s IT service provider and has been a positive company to work with,” Franseen said. “Ignatek also has many years of experience selecting, installing and servicing the cameras.”
Ignatek also is working with the city to provide cameras at the municipal building, she said, and worked with the fire department for a full camera system.