The Piedmont City Council agreed on Monday night to further exploration of installing license plate readers at entrances and exits of the city.
The project, if installed at all roads into and out of the city, would cost more than $1 million, according to the staff report presented to the council.
The council Monday instructed staff to ask the city's Public Safety Committee to comment on the proposal at its next meeting on April 4, and the council also instructed staff to seek a "turn key" quote from the vendor of the license plate readers, 3M, for not only providing the cameras but also installing them, according to City Administrator Geoff Grote.
The staff report by Grote said the city received a quote from 3M for 57 cameras and attendant equipment for $978,716, not counting installation costs or monthly wireless fees and electricity charges. The quote also didn't include a three-year maintenance warranty of $174,700, the report said.
"The council felt an urgency to keep moving on this project," Grote said.
The proposal comes in response to heightened public concern over crime in the wake of rising burglaries and two home-invasion robberies in one day in January.
"Obviously the price was an issue," Grote said of the council's discussion.
The council indicated strong interest in the "turn key" approach to help assure that the equipment performs up to specifications, Grote said.
The turn key contract, however, would not include the city's monthly wireless costs to Verizon or the PG&E costs for the electricity to operate the units, which send the images wirelessly to a server.
The Verizon cost, if all cameras are installed, is estimated to be about $1,100 per month, Grote said. The city does not have an estimate for the electricity costs yet, he said.
No decision has been made on whether to install the full system or instead to pursue the less expensive route of placing cameras at the main entry and exit points, he said.