Summerville Town Council approved the $481,125.66 purchase of equipment and services for the Summerville Communications/911 Center Monday during its regular finance committee meeting.
The town's current communications/911 center software is operating at 75 percent capacity due to a July lightning strike.
"They got it kind of patched together right now," Mayor Bill Collins said, adding that the system was already "antiquated." "(The lightning strike) just expedited the decision-making process."
The new system is the Motorola MCC7500, contracted through Carter Electronics. Another freak lightning strike cannot be prevented from damaging the new system but it is unlikely to do so, according to Councilman Walter Bailey.
In the original motion, council was poised to pay $40,000 in interest over a four-year leased purchase agreement on the equipment, but members amended the motion for the funds to come out of the fund balance and for the fund balance to be repaid. The purchase was approved 6-0 with Councilman Bob Jackson absent from the meeting.
The current system was set to be replaced in 2014, according to Police Chief Bruce Owens. But July's lightning strike hurried his plans and the new purchase is not budgeted.