Madison Co. Approves New Emergency Radio System Settlement |


Madison County will have a new emergency radio system in the next four months.

After months of discussion, the district officials approved a contract with Mobile Communication America (MCA) to install a new radio system that replaced an old system with another company that emergency workers said had been unreliable over the years and that was not always shipped. The system includes three tower locations with full coverage for emergency communications across the county.

Brenan Baird, county 911 director, said the new system will be much more reliable.

The county initially began project talks with plans to move the 911 office from its current location in an old brick house on Wagner Lane in Danielsville. However, the sales tax funds allocated to 911 are insufficient to cover both a radio upgrade and a new facility. But Baird said the new radio system can be moved to a new facility at no great cost if funding for a new building is in place.

The contract with MCA is $ 956,000 and includes a $ 51,000 annual maintenance contract that includes 24/7 technical support for the system infrastructure and software upgrades.

There aren’t enough sales tax funds to cover all of the required radio purchases for volunteer firefighters and the county town police, but commissioners agreed to pull the roughly $ 110,000 from the county general funds to cover the cost of radios for those departments cover I don’t have to pay the bill.

Commissioner Lee Allen said he would rather see commissioners pay those costs now than fire departments buy radios and not be able to use all of their sales tax allocations on other projects they are planning. Other commissioners agreed with everyone.

Commissioner Derek Doster said he would like to see all agencies using the radio system be involved in the tests before implementation. The contract includes an audit of the system to make sure everything is working properly.

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