DirectLink: West U Residents to See Jump in Alarm Monitoring Fee

October 25, 2011

West U residents who use the city’s DirectLink alarm monitoring service will see a jump in their monthly bill, following a fee change by city council.

DirectLink is a security alarm service that sends an alarm signal directly to the city’s communication dispatch center, rather than through a third party. Emergency responders are dispatched immediately instead of having someone call to verify if it’s an emergency or a false alarm.

The city has charged $25 per month since 1997, but council approved an increase of $35 per month on Monday night.

Staff had originally recommended an increase of $39 to be more in line with fees charged by competitors, but came back last night with a recommendation of $35.

City Manager Michael Ross told council that the fee change is “extremely competitive.”

He said the increase will cover the cost to provide it and staff will monitor the cost over the next year.

“We let this one get away from us,” said Mayor Bob Fry, adding that it is still a good deal. “Big jumps like this should be avoided at all cost.”

West U resident Nabila Kinghorn told council that most residents can afford to pay $10 more a month, but it’s “a huge increase.” She said she was worried the change in price would deter residents from signing up for it.

Council also approved an increase in fees for the use of recreational facilities.

Daily walk-in fees at Colonial Park Pool have been changed from $2.50 to $3 and the daily walk-in guest of resident fee from $5 to $6.

Council also approved a new membership option for resident house guests including a monthly pass for $50 and a season pass for $150. The new membership option would only be available for individuals, not families.

The changes in the fees at the pool are estimated to raise $13,000 in revenue.

Fee changes at the Recreation Center include increasing the monthly resident from $15 to $18, monthly couples from $20 to $23 and monthly family from $25 to $28. The increase is to cover costs associated with mandatory electronic fund transfers.

Council also approved a new membership option for resident house guests including a weekly pass for $30 and a monthly pass for $90. The membership would only be available for individuals, not families.

The new membership option is estimated to raise $2,100 in revenue.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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