County takes back user equipment for radio system
by Brian Anderson
banderson@annistonstar.com
Dec 12, 2013 | 3730 views |  0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Approximately 250 radios that are part of an 800 megahertz system linking first-response and emergency agencies throughout the county were transferred back to the ownership of the Calhoun County Commission on Thursday.

At its meeting, the commission agreed to take back the radios, which it had initially given to the Alabama Regional Communication System in April of 2011. The Communication System dissolved earlier this year, and Calhoun County 911 took ownership of the 800 MHz system.

Kevin Jenkins, the director of Calhoun County 911, said the process of transferring responsibility of the radios to the county was merely a formality that the users understood would take place once the system was upgraded.

“It’s like owning a cell phone,” Jenkins said. “You pay for a phone service, but if your phone breaks, that’s your responsibility.”

The agreement means the 911 board will continue to oversee the operation of the system for its users, and offer technical support including loaning or replacing spare equipment.

Federal funding established the 800 MHz system in the 1990s as part of the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program. When the last of the chemical weapons at the Anniston Army Depot were destroyed in 2011, the money went away. Initially, the Alabama Regional Communications System was set up to take over maintenance of the system, but the board of directors voted to dissolve earlier this year due to lack of funds. The County 911 board agreed to an ongoing $3 million upgrade to the system after taking over for the communication system.

In other business, the commission:

— Awarded services to Allied Waste Industries for a trash container and waste removal service at the Calhoun County EMA building. EMA Director Jonathan Gaddy said the $98-per-month rate from Allied Waste will save the agency $1,200 per year.

— Approved a $2,250 contract with the Calhoun County Center for the Arts for computers and sound equipment upgrades for its facility at the Buckner Center in McClellan.

— Approved a $600 contract with the Reaves Road Foundation to provide gift baskets for senior citizens in the county.

— Approved a $1,000 contract with the Rimpsey Agency to provide food for poor residents of Calhoun County.

— Approved a $2,500 contract with the Community Actor’s Studio Theatre for upcoming productions including plays and musicals.

— Approved a $7,500 contract with Community Enabler Developer to pay for services for senior citizens in Calhoun County, including rent, food and medical expenses.

— Approved re-division of land on Dripping Rock Road in Piedmont. The Sara West estate, owned by Kessler Lands, will be divided into three separate tracts of land.

— Dismissed nuisance abatements at 850 Anniston Beach Road and 4142 Myrtle Ave. in Anniston.

Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.

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