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Fire department formally requests dispatch system

The McDuffie County Fire Rescue Service made its formal appeal Monday for a new radio dispatch system.

Assistant Chief Stephen Sewell addressed county commissioners in support of a proposal signed by Chief H. Bruce Tanner.

Assistant Chief Sewell said the 15-year-old radio system needs expensive repairs and the fire department has no backup system available.

He said for a net cost of $25,895, the fire department could have a more reliable system and be prepared for federal requirements in the years ahead. "That takes care of our radio needs, and it takes care of our narrow-banding requirements," he said.

In his prepared summary, Chief Tanner wrote, "Due to the age of our radio equipment at dispatch, we are unable to use the two voter receiver sites that have been providing radio coverage throughout the county." He continued, "The current repeater is 15 years old and we are told by repair persons that they are not sure how long this unit will last."

Wilson Communications Inc. of Grovetown submitted a proposal of $675 each for five portable radio units, $695 each for 15 dash-mount mobile units, and a Kenwood repeater for $8,495. Other connector and labor costs apply.

Money for the purchase might still be available from Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax IV.

Commissioners expressed favor for the proposal, but could not take a vote at the information session. A formal decision session was planned Wednesday morning.

In another matter, commissioners acknowledged a judicial order setting out the distribution of money seized by police and later condemned by the courts.

Sheriff's Maj. Ronnie Williamson said that sometimes large amounts of money are seized in traffic stops or arrests. He said prosecutors may ask the court to condemn the money and take possession of it.

That money is to be awarded to the sheriff's department, with 10 percent reserved to the court to cover its expense. The sheriff's department may use the money to buy crime-fighting tools, such as software, as spelled out in state law.

As an example, commissioners saw a Jan. 13 decision from McDuffie Superior Court Judge Roger W. Dunaway condemning $442.

Web posted on Thursday, March 03, 2011

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