Port Moody council gets locked in debate then goes keyless

Despite some misgivings from two councillors, Port Moody is slated to spend $180,000 to bring keyless entry to the civic centre, following a recent split vote.

The current keypad technology is a bit old, Coun. Steve Milani acknowledged. “But then again, so is my van,” he added.

“If we weren’t in such bad shape fiscally speaking, I would support it easily,” Milani said, explaining his preference to put the project off for one year.

The current system dates back to the 1990s, emphasized Coun. Diana Dilworth.

“We don’t use 30-year-old furniture. We don’t use 30-year-old computers. We don’t use 30-year-old phones,” Dilworth said.

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Having security codes that need to be updated amounts to “an incredible time waster,” according to Dilworth.

“Every time someone loses a key someone needs to go over to the mall and get a new key cut.”

There is a risk in having generic staff access codes shared with “unauthorized users,” noted a city staff report.

Going keyless has been contemplated since the mid-1990s, noted the city’s general manager of finance and technology Paul Rockwood.

“It’s something that we’ve never actually been able to afford,” Rockwood told council.

While he said there were some advantages to going keyless, Coun. Hunter Madsen ultimately suggested there was no compelling need to upgrade a system that still works.

Madsen moved to strike the item from the list of 2022 projects. However, Couns. Zoe Royer and Amy Lubik each backed the upgrade, with Royer calling the change: “Hugely important to our staff.”

Council voted 3-2 against removing the project from the city’s 2022 schedule. Mayor Rob Vagramov and Coun. Meghan Lahti did not attend the Jan. 18 meeting.

City staff noted the new system would likely be more secure and could be beneficial in knowing how many people are in the building during an evacuation.

A specific technology has not been identified for the upgrade, according to a city staff report. A consultant is slated to be hired to recommend the technology that will offer best value.

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