The low and - only - bid on installing Davis County's new enchanced 911 emergency telephone system came in at $537,000, said Capt. K.D. Simpson of the Davis County Sheriff's Department this week.

The only bidder on the project was US WEST, whose bid came in below the estimated cost of $550,000. Although AT&T was asked to bid, the company indicated it could not meet the specifications written into the bid documents, Simpson said.Davis County has a basic 911 system in operation but is working toward installing a more sophisticated, or enhanced, system.

With the current system, calls are forwarded to either Bountiful (which had an existing 911 system in operation before the rest of the county) or to the sheriff's department dispatch center in Farmington.

Dispatchers have to ask the caller several time-consuming questions, ranging from the nature of the emergency to the caller's address, name, telephone number, and other information to determine which police, fire, or ambulance agency should respond.

Under the enhanced, or E-911 system, a computer screen will give the dispatcher the incoming call's location, street address, telephone number and which fire or police agency has jurisdiction there.

Instead of calls coming into the sheriff's department, they will automatically be routed to one of four public safety answering points, to be installed in Clearfield, Layton, Farmington, and Bountiful.

The 911 system is financed by a 50-cent-per-month charge assessed on telephone lines, authorized last year by the Legislature. The money is collected by US WEST and turned back to the county, which is supervising the system's installation.

Simpson said once the system is installed and the equipment paid for, the 50-cent-per-month fee could be reduced. He estimated it will cost about $5,000 a month to operate.

Installation of the new computer equipment will begin in December and should be finished by February. The new system will be tested through the next spring and should be fully operational by June.