CASS COUNTY – Cass County Supervisor Steve Green said he would like to hear from city council representatives on whether their constituents are supportive of using a state radio system that could cost approximately $3 million.
Chris Maiers, who is on the board that oversees a statewide radio system, spoke to the board of supervisors Tuesday on behalf of the statewide radio system , and said the statewide radio system is more efficient than the VHF system the county has been using. He said with the VHF system, each channel has to be individually worked on-including installing infrastructure, programing radios and getting a FCC license for each one. On the statewide system, the channels are all on one account, so the set up only needs to be done once.
Maiers said the VHF system can have a lot of static, and Cass County Sheriff Darby McLaren said a big problem with it is that parts of Atlantic have “dead spots,” which makes it hard for Cass County deputies and Atlantic Police officers to communicate with each other. He said the system around the rest of the county is “adequate.”
Green said the county has been working with Motorola on proposals to upgrade Cass County’s radio system to the state radio system, and the latest proposal is approximately $3 million, which would be approximately $1.71 million, a one time cost for the system, and approximately $820,000 for maintenance for six years. Estimates for previous proposals have ranged from $5.8 million to $8 million.
“For me, personally, as a county supervisor, this is a lot of money,” Green said. “I need to know the citizens of the county stand behind it. I would like the city councils to all sign on, and say, ‘yeah, this is something Cass County needs.’ I think our emergency services need the best we can afford to give them.”