Parker County commissioners last week decided to table a proposed upgrade to their radio systems that included adding a sixth radio tower according to the Weatherford Democrat. With a cost at about $7.8 million, the county hoped to use the $27.7 million in COVID-19 relief dollars it was to receive from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
Parker County Emergency Management Coordinator and Fire Marshal Sean Hughes said the new radios would benefit the county sheriff’s office and emergency services districts. Sheriff Russ Authier confirmed that most of the radios they currently have are outdated and in need of service. Precinct 3 Commissioner Larry Walden said the county was being encouraged to spend the bulk of the ARPA funds.
“We need to get the word out that we’re taking proposals for the spending of this funding to other programs that may need it,” Walden said. The $7.8 million, according to Hughes, would include upgrades on the five radio towers currently in use, and putting up a sixth 250-foot tower to be located in Brock.
“The new tower and upgrade would greatly enhance the reliability of the system, though there would still be some dead spots, but not as many,” he told the Democrat, adding that they had until the end of the year before Motorola would be increasing its pricing.
County Auditor Briana Fowler said the ARPA funds must be earmarked by 2024, and counties have until 2026 to complete the projects.