Sheriff Wallace Whittaker asked Fiscal Court at it’s Tuesday meeting to allow the signing selecting NextEdge as the vendor for the county's new radio system. After a lengthy conversation the court agreed to allow Chick to sign. The county agreed in November 2009 a new system needed to be purchased and gave direction to Whittaker to investigate the NextEdge system further and try to obtain funding through the grant process.
The county's current system is 11 years old and is outdated. The system has been giving dispatchers and emergency personnel communication problems that some say could result in a tragic situation according to numerous agencies who have had problems getting through to the 911 service.
Sheriff Whittaker told the court Tuesday the price was $526,721 to purchase NextEdge. He said the county had received $70,000 in grant monies from the Department of Homeland Security to go toward the purchase of portable radios which will be compatible with the new system when it is purchased.
The system will take eight months to build and deliver, said Whittaker.
Magistrate Jo Orange wasn't aware it would take that long to get the system and didn’t think the county needed to waste anymore time delaying.
Magistrate Dickie Carter agreed. “We have been talking about this for months and I thought this was an emergency situation. We need to sign it and get on with it," he said. Magistrate Thomas Bouldin was curious where the money would come from to purchase the system.
“We can buy it today as far as I'm concerned, but I just want to know where the funds will come from,” said Bouldin.
Magistrate Carter answered Bouldin saying the old system will be sold and the county will apply for additional grants, then take the rest out of savings. Whittaker said more grant money could be applied for in April from the Department of Homeland Security.
It was questioned if the county went ahead and made the purchase could they apply for a reimbursement in April. No definite answer was given.
Whittaker said the old system could not be sold off until the new one was installed.