A new emergency radio system will go into effect piece by piece throughout the county, giving city police departments and fire departments time to figure out how to buy required 800 MHz radios.
Sheriff Rob Craft said he needs to get dispatch capable for the system commissioners voted to approve a few months ago. When the new system goes live, the existing system will need to be kept operable until other emergency departments get their radios replaced, Craft said.
“There’s going to be a drop-dead date on these somewhere,” commissioner Dan Holub said.
Craft and commissioners discussed the possibility of a loan program to help other departments with the purchase, but didn’t create any plans for a loan program.
In August, Peabody police chief Bruce Burke said each radio costs between $2,500 and $3,000.
Marion city administrator Roger Holter said Marion officials calculate it will cost $122,000 to equip police and fire departments with 800 MHz radios.
The new 800 MHz radios require a different repeater to be installed. A repeater is a device that receives a radio signal and forwards it.
Replacement of a metal span bridge over the Cottonwood River on Alfalfa Rd. a half-mile south of US-50 will begin by April, after the county submits its share of money for its replacement to Kansas Department of Transportation.
After that, KDOT will award a contract to a Newton bridge company. Bridges, Inc. bid $878,530 for the job. Federal and state grants will defray most of the cost, leaving the county to pay $194,000.