County opens bids to convert siren radios to narrow bandwidth

Published 4:52 pm Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chilton County will spend at least $27,000 to convert the radios in the county’s severe weather warning sirens, it appears.

The county commission opened bids on the project at a regular meeting Monday.

The commission is coming into compliance with a mandate by the Federal Communications Commission that all public-use radios be converted to narrow bandwidth by Jan. 1, 2013.

There are 25 sirens in the county.

Qualcomm Wireless submitted the lowest bid opened Monday, at $27,900. The commission voted to accept the bids but didn’t award the project to Qualcomm, instead expressing a desire to let other county officials look over the bids to make sure they met the specifications requested.

McCord Communication Services submitted a bid of $34,410, and Clanton-based J and W Communications submitted a bid of $34,449.

Federal grant money is available for the conversion, but the county would have to work quickly to meet the time limit to receive funds. The commission seemed set on making a decision at its next meeting, on May 14.

In other business, the commission:

•Gave Chairman Tim Mims the authority to approve Community Storm Shelters Standard Operating Procedures. The procedures were drafted by the Chilton County Emergency Management Agency and pertain to the opening and staffing of the county’s storm shelters.

•Looked over plans for a private “Maggie Valley Cemetery” in Jemison and made the site a cemetery of record.

•Entered into a contract with AFS Canteen to maintain drink and snack machines in the Chilton County Courthouse.

•Renewed an annual service agreement with Certified Laboratories for the cooling towers on top of the courthouse, at a price of $240.75 a month.

•Approved a highway traffic safety project overtime funds grant of $975 from Jefferson State Community College, for use of county sheriff’s deputies on May 21 through June 3.

•Decided to move the county’s investment account from Sterne Agee to Regions Bank.

•Scheduled a work session for 4:30 p.m. on April 30 to discuss Chilton County Transit.