Commission agrees to pay balance for sheriff’s radios

Published 3:00 pm Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Chilton County Commission voted to begin paying a balance of $944.60 per month on May 1 for SouthernLINC Wireless radios for the sheriff’s department.

Dan Wright, director of Chilton County E-911, spoke to the commission on Monday regarding an unpaid balance of roughly $6,000 for the county’s portion of the radio system.

“The 911 board approved switching to a SouthernLINC Wireless radio network for its primary dispatch system in June 2013,” Wright said. “The switch involved the law enforcement agencies throughout the county, and the sheriff’s department has not paid for their part of the radios.”

Commission Chairman Allen Caton said the request for the county to pay the balance for the radios for the sheriff’s department never came before the commission and asked for the commission’s help in how to handle the situation.

Commissioner Shannon Welch said the sheriff’s department was already using the 40 portable radios, and the 911 board should not be responsible for the unpaid balance.

“The 911 board should not be the ones taking the loss on this,” Welch said. “The sheriff’s department has been using the radios, and the balance needs to be paid.”

Sheriff Kevin Davis was present at Monday’s meeting and said he wasn’t aware he was the person required to request the money for the radios.

“I assumed it wasn’t my duty to ask for the increase for the county’s portion of the radios,” Davis said. “I thought when the vote was taken by the 911 board to have this switch for Oct. 1, 2013, that it was to allow the municipalities and county to prepare for this switch.”

Davis told the commission he would offer to pay the unpaid balance of roughly $6,000 if the commission agreed to start paying the $944.60 per month starting May 1.

The radios are on a 36-month contract.

Caton said he thought Davis should have come before the commission to request the county pay for the radios.

“We never got a request from the sheriff for the county to pay for the radios,” Caton said.

Welch said he thought this was an opportunity for the commission and sheriff to work together to find a common ground.

“I think we should work with [Davis], and he has offered to pay the balance up until now,” Welch said.

Commissioner Joe Headley made a motion to pay for the radios with the sheriff paying a balance of $6,612 and the commission paying $944.60 per month starting May 1.

The county will pay for the radios with money from the general fund budget.