City of Bainbridge approves radio upgrades with unanimous vote

Published 8:47 pm Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The City of Bainbridge unanimously approved the proposed county-wide radio upgrades during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Roslyn Palmer made a motion to approve the proposal and Phil Long seconded it.

The city was in a position where it had little choice but to approve the new system as consistent problems have plagued the current system since it was implemented in 2013.

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“If we don’t do this, then we can’t talk to the sheriff’s department or the other agencies,” Palmer said.

The city had the option to buy the radios outright or to pay for them using a seven-year lease plan. City Council chose to purchase the radios outright.

The city’s cost to upgrade to the new system is $233,612.50 for a total of 125 radios. This includes 75 portable radios and 50 dash mounted radios.

The city will also have to pay a yearly subscriber fee to tie into the system. The first year subscriber fee is $14,581.37. For every year after the first it will cost $28,692.38 because the radios will no longer be under warranty after the first year.

“This is a lot of money,” Councilwoman Glennie Bench said.

Although the city is not currently having many problems with the system, they were forced to upgrade because it is a shared system with Decatur and Grady counties who are having problems.

“We really need this,” Bainbridge Public Safety Director Jerry Carter said.

The next step in the process is for Decatur County and the Board of Education to approve the system.

According to Dennis Brinson, the chairman of the Decatur Couunty Board of Commissioners, the commissioners are expected to vote on the proposal at their meeting next Tuesday.

“It is a must need and I know we recognize that,” Brinson said. “It is something that should have been done from the start.”

The cost to the county will be far greater than the city as Decatur and Grady Counties will also be paying for the infrastructure upgrades.

“Motorola is being very gracious,” Brinson said.

After all parties approve the new system it will take 12-18 months to implement.

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