Commissioners Final Group to Pass Updated Joint Dispatch Agreement, Radio Upgrade Plan

By Benjamin Cox on May 21, 2024 at 6:07am

One of the final hurdles to begin executing a massing emergency telecommunications project was cleared this morning.

The Morgan County Commissioners was the final group to pass the county-wide updated joint dispatch agreement and the emergency radio system upgrade.

Morgan County ESDA Coordinator and Joint Dispatch Director Phil McCarty says the next step is in the hands of the ETSB Board: “The ETSB will meet on Wednesday assuming that they will address executing the contract to move this project forward. It’s super exciting. It’s been a lot of work, a lot of time to make sure we get it right. It’s really important.”

McCarty says some language in the joint dispatch agreement will have to be cleaned up and passed by the three public bodies while they begin work on the contract: “We just have to make sure we have things worded how we are doing business the right way. There’s never an agreement that’s passed that’s 100% perfect. Once an agreement is passed, we start operating with it and point back to it to fix things. It’s just being good government and keeping things how we operate the right way.”

McCarty says the likely first payments for the multi-million dollar project with Tait Communications won’t start being made until January 1, 2026. The system upgrade will be on a 12-year lease with maintenance inclusion, with renewals coming at the 6-year mark and at the end of the project. The project is expected to cost north of $6 million to install, with McCarty anticipating that may be higher due to recent high interest rates.

McCarty told the Commissioners that the next update on implementation of the radio system would likely come in September.