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911 Board moves forward with communications contract

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Chilton County E911 Board has approved signing a contract with Motorola, dependent on a signature for the Chilton County Board of Education, for a countywide public safety communications system.

By signing the contract pending a signature, Chilton County E911 kept the price Motorola had guaranteed through Sept. 30. However, 911 Director Dan Wright said the school board needs to sign on within 30 days.

Wright plans to be at the next meeting of the Board of Education to answer questions about the project. A vote would be needed that night to meet the deadline.

“We have been in discussions with the Board of Education, the superintendent,” Wright said. “Everything seems positive.”

The school board is scheduled to meet at Isabella High School on Sept. 22 at 5 p.m. for a work session and a voting session at 6 p.m. (Both meetings are open to the public.)

Local governments for Maplesville and Jemison each signed the agreement late last month. The Maplesville Town Council held a special called meeting on Sept. 27 to give Mayor W.C. Hayes approval to sign the document. He did so later that day. Jemison Mayor Eddie Reed signed the document on Sept. 24.

Governments for Thorsby and Clanton as well as the County Commission approved the agreement during regular scheduled meetings in September.

Each of the governments monetary portion for infrastructure was determined by the 911 funding formula based on call volume to the area. The school system’s portion was determined based on an estimate of how many radios it will have on the system. The infrastructure payments will be made for 10 years. Additional maintenance costs will also be paid by each entity.

Having the Board of Education join the agreement would increase safety by enhancing the communications with the school buses. Wright said each radio in the bus would have a button the would connect the driver to 911 dispatch.

“It would give them a direct link to us and to law enforcement,” Wright said.

Each of the buses would also be able to communicate with each other and the school system radio.

The public safety communications system has been proposed to address “dead zones” with the cell phones that emergency services are currently using as radios.