CONSHOHOCKEN PA – Lower Pottsgrove Township officials were among those in attendance Tuesday (March 5, 2013) at what the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners characterized as “an informational briefing for elected and administrative municipal officials” at the Public Safety Training Campus in Conshohocken to discuss replacement of the county’s emergency radio system.
The $23.8 million effort represents one of the biggest projects undertaken by the county in years, and involves the purchase of new equipment, wiring and antennas, new software, and $6.1 million for radios to be used by local law enforcement agencies, including the Lower Pottsgrove Police Department.
The county during 2011 was ordered by the Federal Communications Commission to change how its police and emergency radio dispatch system operates, due to the unprecedented growth of cell phones and other mobile technology that uses much of the same bandwidth, or frequencies, the radios do. After almost two years of back-and-forth wrangling, the county recently signed a contract with Motorola Solutions Inc. to do the work.
The cost of buying hand-held radios to be used by police, fire and other emergency personnel, originally estimated at between $3,000 and $7,000 each, must be paid by the municipalities themselves.
Police Chief Michael Foltz has advised the township Board of Commissioners the radios’ price probably will fall to the lower end of that scale, and that the county has discussed offering a financing plan at little or no interest. Commissioners probably will want to consider budgeting some or all of the cost to occur during 2014, Foltz indicated in earlier board reports.
Those specifics, and others too, were intended to be part of the Tuesday agenda.
Related (to Montgomery County emergency communications):