Andrew Trzaska | April 12, 2011
Muskegon is upgrading its city employee’s cell phones and switching carriers to allow for the use of smart phones and data services, with a cost increase attached.
The City of Muskegon has maintained contracts with Sprint/Nextel for over 10 years for cell phone service for its employees.
With Tuesday’s approval vote by city commissioners, the city will now contract with Verizon, who will provide the city 49 lines of service plus options extra for temporary phones to use during elections and events.
City employees whose supervisors deem them in need of a smart phone will have to reimburse the city $15 per month to cover any personal use of the phone.
After adjusting for these reimbursements, the upgrades and change in provider will still cost the city $110 more per month than the city’s current, non-smart-phone contract, according to a memo from the city’s assistant finance director to the city commission.
That adds up to more than $1,300 extra per year.
That extra cost, according to the memo, will be made up in increased productivity from the city’s employees.
“As our work force has declined our employee workloads have increased and the use of smart phones will help employees manage their workload more efficiently becoming more productive.”
Sprint and Verizon both submitted quotes to the City of Muskegon for the city’s phone contract. Verizon came in as the lower of the two bids by over 100 dollars per month.
Verizon is also the carrier for other governments in the county, including the City of Norton Shores.