Commissioners OK $2.5 million in upgrades

By Cecilia Fox -

MIAMI COUNTY — At their meeting Thursday, the Miami County Commissioners approved the purchase of $2.5 million in upgrades to the Communication Center radio system.

The purchase includes the main part of the radio system that will allow the Communication Center to talk to police and fire departments from other counties and communities, and to connect to the state’s MARCS network, Communication Center Director Jeff Busch said.

“The upgrade will put us on a platform we can attach to Ohio MARCS, which is a multi-agency radio communication system,” Busch said. “It will allow our firefighters and police officers to communicate in a much more efficient manner.”

Busch explained that the new system will be a six-channel, simulcast radio system. This purchase does not include mobile radios, he explained.

“This is the backbone of the radio system,” Commissioner John “Bud” O’Brien said.

The county will still use the infrastructure purchased several years ago, Busch added.

According to Busch, the upgrades would have been costlier if the county had not undertaken the process in phases — closer to $10 million for system and infrastructure upgrades all at once.

Several other surrounding counties, including Montgomery and Clark Counties, have made this transition or are in the process of upgrading, Busch said.

The commissioners approved the purchase contract and software license agreement Motorola. The Communication Center is working on a participation agreement with the MARCS system, Busch said.

In other business, the commissioners approved additional technology purchases. These include six wireless access points for the West Central Rehabilitation Center at a cost of $1,704. This will ensure that the entire facility has Internet access, which will allow the educators working their to incorporate up-to-date technology in their lessons.

The commissioners also approved the purchase and installation of fiber optic lines to the county’s 25-A facilities at a cost of $3,650.

By Cecilia Fox