Wednesday, October 28, 2015

County to reallocate money for 911 tower

J-E Editor

Webster County Fiscal Court is beginning to feel the crunch of an already tight 2015-16 budget. On Monday, when presented with bids for a proposed 911 radio tower, magistrates found themselves approximately $55,000 short of the funds needed to complete the project. Due to the importance of the project, however, the decision was made to use funds that had already been earmarked for road improvements.

“I think more people would benefit from using the money for the tower than would if we used it somewhere else,” said Magistrate Jerry ‘Poogie’ Brown.

“This probably is more important that what we could get out of $55,000 worth of blacktop,” agreed Judge Executive Jim Townsend. “This tower will impact every community in Webster County.”

Webster County 911 Dispatch’s radio antennas are currently housed atop the Oak Heights water tower. 911 Director Doug Sauls and Emergency Management Director Jeremy Moore told the court that water district equipment does occasionally interfere with radio signals, but that isn’t the biggest concern.

“The Water District is going to be painting that tower and putting in a new mixing system,” Moore said. “When that happens our communications are going to be down until they’re finished.”

Earlier this year the Water District Board approved a request for a new radio tower and communications building to be built on their property, adjacent to the water tower, but the county is only just getting to moving forward with the project.

The total cost of the project is estimated at around $175,000. $143,458 of that will go to low bidder Allstate Tower of Henderson, with an additional $26,804 going to Don’s Mobile Radio of Evansville and $5,000 going to Allstate for a used concrete communications building (valued at around $60,000). The county has a $125,000 grant, which they expected to cover more of the cost, but with bids in the need to find additional funding presented itself.

The court voted unanimously to transfer the needed funds from the LGEDF which has been set aside for road projects.

In other business, Jailer Terry Elder reported that after struggling with internet service since transferring from AT&T to Time-Warner earlier in the year, county employees recently located an old network server still in operation at the jail. When the county made the switch, services were transferred to a new server, however, the old equipment was not disconnected.

“Those two servers were causing an IP conflict, which was freezing up the network,” said 911 Director Doug Sauls, who also serves as the county’s unofficial IT technician. “Once we took that server offline, everything has been fine.”

Elder and Sauls were both complimentary of Time Warner’s customer service.
Time-Warner representative David Hagen was on hand at the request of county, following several complaints from officials at the last meeting, but those issues have since been resolved.

 at 270-667-2068 or

No comments:

Post a Comment