WILKES-BARRE — The board of Hawkeye Security Solutions approved a no-bid contract for an accounting firm Wednesday to assist with the city’s takeover of the non-profit corporation overseeing the camera surveillance system.
Parente Beard Accountants was hired at a cost not to exceed $15,000, said board member Greg Barrouk, who also serves as deputy city administrator.
Barrouk said attorney John Aciukewicz, who was hired last December to dissolve Hawkeye, recommended the board bring the firm “on board to file all the necessary paperwork and also to review our financials from the beginning, as well as make sure we are in complete compliance with the IRS.”
The board met for the first time since December when it began to wind down its operations in anticipation of the city taking control. Hawkeye was faced with decreasing revenue after it lost a multi-year contract with the Wilkes-Barre Area School District last year. The city stepped forward with $150,000 to pay for the network built with millions in government funds and maintained by Frontier Communications.
The Wilkes-Barre Parking Authority continues to make monthly payments of $8,333 to Hawkeye as a result of $300,000 contract. The board Wednesday approved the three-year contract for the authority that was renewed last November.
The authority provided the sole revenue from December through February, paying $24,999, according to Hawkeye’s income statement for June. When the amount was added to the cash balance of $21,605, Hawkeye listed a total receipts at $46,605.
Expenses totaled, $40,499, including a $37,905 payment to Legion Security. The private company along with city police officers monitor the network at a control room in police headquarters. Attorney fees of $2,275, $50 for the preparation of minutes for the board and the purchase of a Dell computer hard drive for $269 were the other expenses.
After payment, Hawkeye had a cash balance of $6,105.
Board member Louis Lau, who heads the city’s information technology department, said the hard drive was needed to replace one that went bad. Another drive failed and is on order, he added. The cost should be within $100 of the newly installed hard drive, he told the board.
Board chairman Frank Majikes said he was unable to give a time from for the city takeover.
“It’s tough to give you a date because of the process,” Majikes said. “We can say it’s going to be six months. It might be sooner. It might be later, depending upon what paperwork has to be completed.”
Barrouk explained that Parente Beard would likely have its work done within 30 days. The firm is reviewing documents from Hawkeye’s inception in 2007 to the present.
“But then they have to send everything in,” he said. “It all depends upon when we hear back and that can be anywhere from a 30-day process to a 180-day process. We don’t know.”
Due to the uncertainty of when the process will be completed, the next meeting will be scheduled as needed, Majikes said.