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County commission approves radio upgrades

Staff writer

Marion County Commission approved an upgrade for a voice recorder for the communications department Monday. The upgrade will cost $53,246.

The communications department records every 911 call and several other calls that are received by dispatchers, director Linda Klenda said. The recording system itself costs $2,800 with a $500 installation. Most of the cost of the project involved paying for recording channels, including $11,000 for 22 performance recording channels, and licenses, including a $5,000 media player license.

The licenses, channels, and software are required by Federal Communication Commission regulations. Klenda will pay for the project using the 911 fund and $15,000 from capital outlay. There is currently $129,683 available in the fund. It is supplemented, between $1,000 and $1,500 every month, by federal grants.

“This is potentially going to dry up some day,” Commission Chairman Dan Holub said.

The commission also approved narrow banding for all of the radios in the county. The winning bid from First Wireless, Inc.m Wichita, was for a total of $6,700. The cost of the project is a third of what was originally projected by a different company, Emergency Management Director Dan D’Albini said.

To meet federal regulations, the Emergency Management Department is tasked with lowering the power outage of county radios from 25 watts to 12.5. The reduction will reduce the pickup of unwanted radio signals, some from as far away as Arkansas. However, county dispatchers may have a problem picking up Florence radios because the town is located in a small valley. The commission advised D’Albini to address this problem when it occurs.

Storm

D’Albini and Sheriff Rob Craft updated the commission on the result of the storm Saturday night.

Three homes were damaged by tornadoes, two near Lost Spring and one in the Pilsen area. Ten power poles were uprooted; D’Albini said it would take approximately $1,200 a piece to repair each.

Craft said there were zero injuries reported as a result of storms.

There was tree damage at the Marion Reservoir and Marion County Park and Lake. Large hail destroyed a wheat crop along 290th Road.

In other business

  • The county will pay Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company $654 found after an audit of the county’s automobile, liability, and property insurance.
  • A payment of $491,437 to Lloyd Builders was approved for the jail.
  • County Attorney Susan Robson appointed Brian Bina to act as a special prosecutor for Ricky Roger’s jury trial for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Bina requested the trial to gain more experience in jury trials.
  • A bid of $551 from Rod’s Tire and Service was approved for tires for the sport utility vehicle for the County Appraiser’s office.
  • Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman told the commission about county advertisements in a travel magazine, Newton Movie Theater, and on a billboard in Hillsboro’s industrial park. The commission was scheduled to meet with South Central Kansas Economic Development District Director Bill Bolin and Hillsboro Economic Development Director Clint Seibel but meetings with the communications and road and bridge departments went long. Huffman will attend the SCKEDD meeting April 26. The commission is invited but they have yet to commit.

Last modified April 18, 2012

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