SPLOST will give as­sis­tance to 9-1-1 cen­ter

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - DARRYL WELCH dwelch@cov­news.com

If passed, the 2017 New­ton County SPLOST would help with up­grades to the Covington-New­ton County 9-1-1 Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Cen­ter.

Ac­cord­ing to 911 Cen­ter Di­rec­tor Mike Smith, the $5 mil­lion that the cen­ter is due to re­ceive will go to­ward ra­dio in­fra­struc­ture up­grades ($3 mil­lion) and ra­dio equip­ment up­grades ($2 mil­lion). The up­grades would bring the cen­ter up to the na­tional stan­dard.

Smith told The Covington News the 9-1-1 Cen­ter was al­lo­cated only $5 mil­lion in 2005 SPLOST funds of the $10-$12 mil­lion needed at the time to build out the sys­tem. The funds from this year’s SPLOST would com­plete the up­grade and get the sys­tem where it needs to be. The cen­ter was not al­lo­cated any funds in the 2011 SPLOST.

Smith said the in­fra­struc­ture up­grades in­clude up­grad­ing equip­ment at ra­dio

tower sites uti­lized by fire, po­lice and EMS to com­mu­ni­cate with the 9-11 Cen­ter while on calls through­out the county, and re­plac­ing ra­dio dis­patch con­soles that will need to be re­placed this year.

Ac­cord­ing to Smith, there are “dead spots” around the county where ra­dio com­mu­ni­ca­tion is dif­fi­cult or im­pos­si­ble. Smith said this is be­cause the Board of Com­mis­sion­ers at that time plac­ing stip­u­la­tions on the sys­tem that did not al­low the ra­dio tow­ers to be built where they were needed. He said this sit­u­a­tion could prove dan­ger­ous for both pub­lic safety and cit­i­zens.

Smith said that equip­ment up­grades will in­volve re­plac­ing some por­ta­ble and mo­bile ra­dios used by first re­spon­ders.

Smith said there are mo­bile ra­dios in some emer- gency ve­hi­cles that are four years past the time of re­plac­ing and that the SPLOST funds would get them re­placed.

Early vot­ing for New­ton County’s 2017 SPLOST starts Mon­day, Feb. 27. The elec­tion is March 21.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.