Bethany Beach goes keyless

Bethany Beach Town Council members approved a new keyless card entry system for town hall at their Oct. 21 meeting.

The $15,715 contract with Security Services and Technology was recommended among three bids obtained on the project. The other two bids were for only five doors at the town hall, while the SST contract included those doors, plus three others, and maintenance of the system.

SST is also the town’s current vendor for security camera services and is to integrate the card system with the video cameras for a full security package.

The $15,715 will come from Homeland Security grand monies awarded to the town, Town Manager Cliff Graviet emphasized.

“The main emphasis of the system is the police department — who has access to it and how they gain access,” Graviet explained Monday, after the unanimous council vote.

Graviet said town officials figured that while they were securing the police department within town hall they would take the rest of the municipal building and secure the entirety with the new system.

The keyless system not only does away with the hardware locks and thus enhances the level of security in the building, it also makes things easier, more flexible and more secure.

“With a few computer strokes, we can change levels of security and access,” Graviet explained.

That also means less expense to the town in the long run.

“Employee changes require substantial hardware changes that are very expensive,” the town manager said. “The door sets are very expensive. The remaking of keys is very expensive and a real process.”

Now, when employees leave town employ, their access can simply be terminated and new employees provided their own coded card.

“Once we take care of this, it’s (access is) something we can revisit and revise,” Graviet noted of the new system.

Along with the integrated video system, the new security system will also allow the town to monitor who goes in and out of the town hall — a feature Graviet said was especially important for the police department.