Riley County commissioners have a better idea on how much a new radio system will cost for police and emergency officials.
Thursday morning Pat Collins, the county’s emergency management director and fire chief, told the board a new system will have a total price tag of nearly $12 million. The infrastructure costs alone are projected to be $5.8 million. A 15-year maintenance plan could cost $3.8 million.
Collins told the commission some of the costs may already be taken care of, though.
“We can pay for some of the consoles out of the 911 fund,” Collins said. “I think we can pay for some of the tower enhancements out of the 911 fund. So, there’s costs right there that we wouldn’t have to finance. We already have funds built up for that kind of stuff.”
In 2005, the county’s 911 Advisory Board voted to begin replacement of outdated radio infrastructure including mobile and portable radios that could not meet the project 25 (P-25) standards, which are a set of public safety standards for digital radios adopted by federal, state and local governments since the 1990s.
The county moved forward in 2014 with a more complete replacement plan after further complaints of dead spots in the county by various police and emergency officials.
Collins said those problems came to light again during a recent exercise.
“We did the airport exercise and we went out, not sure what happened, but we switched to a radio tower and it doesn’t work,” he said. “Seems like every time we have something big, (the system) struggles. It just keeps popping up.”
Commissioners Ron Wells and Marvin Rodriguez approved a “Request For Information” motion to seek potential financing for the new system. Commissioner Ben Wilson was absent.
“What we’re asking, as the 911 committee, is to see if we can do an RFI for the county,” he said. “We’ll help (Fiance and Budget Officer) Tami (Robison) put that together, if you want, and get those numbers back and say hey, this is what financing is going to cost, here are the people who can do it and here are the people who can’t.”
“I don’t have a problem with that,” Wells said before making the RFI motion.
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Source: KMAN Local News