$11.5M First Responder Radio System Depends on Tower Power


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Ohio County (Ohio) is planning to spend $11.5M on a First Responder Radio System, which will grant authorities access to six state towers, reported Government Technology. The system was last upgraded in 2005, and according to Commissioner Kerry Metzger, replacing the current radio system is not optional.

Additionally, Tuscarawas County will be joining the state system – known as MARCS (Multi-Agency Radio Communications System). The county owns six towers which are used to transmit radio traffic. By joining MARCS, the county will gain access to six state towers, five of them located in areas just outside the county, according to Sheriff Orvis Campbell.  

Commissioners already signed an 11-year agreement with Motorola for upgrading the system equipment, with installation by Staley Technologies of New Philadelphia. To pay for the upgrade, the county is asking voters to approve a temporary sales tax increase of 0.5 percent from October 1, 2018, to September 30, 2020.

As the current system radio system for law enforcement and first responders comes to the end of its life on December 31, 2018, commissioners are working to generate funding for the project. They’re assessing options with agencies such as the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association (OMEGA), the federal Department of Homeland Security and funding from the state’s capital budget.

January 3, 2018     

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