Digital radios to cost $170K

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The City of Andalusia is gearing up to address a communications issue that all municipalities and first responders will face sooner or later.

“Everything electronic is being digitized,” Mayor Earl Johnson explained. “We still are using all analog radios at the city. We’re not the only city facing this; cities all over country and state have the same issue.

“The problem is that the Federal Communications Commission is going to stop issuing licenses to use old analog, wide-band radios. In essence, we will be forced to go to new equipment.”

Interim Police Chief Paul Hudson presented an estimate for upgrading the radios, which is expected to cost almost $170,000.

Both Hudson and Fire Chief Ethan Dorsey said it is becoming increasingly difficult to communicate with the old equipment. And, when the county’s E911 system is updated to narrow band equipment, wide band radios can no longer communicate with them.

Council members charged Hudson and Dorsey with developing a plan for all the radio upgrades that are needed, as well as soliciting bids for both purchase and lease plans.

They also were asked to look for grant monies that could help offset the costs.

In other business, the council agreed to abate the following property for weed issues:

• 214 McGowan St.

• 503 Seegars St.

• 505 Seegars St.

• 201 Chickasaw St.