Emergency radio system plans moving forward [Daily News, Bowling Green, Ky.]
(Daily News (Bowling Green, KY) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sept. 01--Plans for an emergency radio communications system to serve Bowling Green and Warren County are moving forward on schedule, said Ronnie Pearson, director of Warren County Emergency Management and a member of the City-County Public Safety Mobile Radio System Agency.
On Thursday, the agency approved the payment of remediation costs for the use of two television station towers as part of that system and authorized negotiations with WBKO and WNKY for the use of those towers, Pearson said.
The current emergency radio system was purchased in the 1990s after having been used in the Atlanta Olympic games.
The new, four-tower system would provide 91.4 percent guaranteed coverage in the county and 95 percent guaranteed coverage in the city compared to about 78 percent coverage in the city and 58 percent coverage in the county with the current system.
Bowling Green and Warren County governments approved the purchase of the new system earlier this year.
The use of the two television towers is meant to save money on the system that could cost the city and county as much as $7 million. Using the WBKO and WNKY towers is expected to save about $260,000 on the overall cost of the system, Pearson said. He said he hopes to complete negotiations on the use of those towers within the next 30 days and to be able to use them without a cost for leasing space. However, there will be some costs to make sure that the towers are suitable for emergency radio system equipment, Pearson said.
In order for the towers to be used, the city and county will have to spend about $7,500 to remove an analog transmission antenna on the WBKO tower and about $44,250 to replace some guide wires at the WNKY tower so it can safely handle the extra weight of the emergency radio system equipment, he said.
In exchange for that work being done on the WNKY tower, the television station is expected to provide space within its building for support equipment for the radio system, Pearson said.
"It is a savings to the taxpayers," he said.
Equipment for the new system is currently being manufactured, and it may be ready for shipment as early as the end of September, Pearson said.
After agreements for the television towers are in place, construction dates can be set, he said.
-- Katie Brandenburg covers government. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/BGDNgovtbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.
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