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School board approves 911 agreement

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Chilton County Board of Education unanimously approved joining the countywide 911 communications system project during a meeting on Oct. 22.

The school system was the last entity to sign the agreement, meaning the project will move forward.

As a part of the contract, CCS will pay $42,600 on an annual basis for the next 10 years. The system would put an emergency radio on each of the school buses and give direct contact with 911 dispatch at the press of a button, 911 Director Dan Wright said.

School and Safety Resource Officers would also have radios in the schools on the system.

“In the schools, in the event that something happened at a school, you press a button to activate it, and it will open the mic up and give us an alert at 911 that something is wrong at school A,” Wright said.

The department could then send the needed resource to the school.

Safe Schools Coordinator Mickey Hardwick said funds to cover the expense had already been included in the safe schools and transportation budgets.

Hardwick said the plan was to begin buying radios for the school system next month.

Maintenance costs would continue to be paid after the initial 10 years.

The Chilton County E911 Board had approved moving forward with the project contingent on the school board signing on as the final partners.

All of the local governments had already approved being a part of the project and signed the needed paperwork. Motorola had granted an extension for the county to lock in this price, but this was the last school board meeting before the extension ran out.

The infrastructure will be funded over the next 10 years with an additional for radios. The system is being created to address dead zones emergency responders were experiencing in service in various areas of the county while using cellphones as touch-to-talk radios.

The infrastructure will take at least a year to implement. Motorola has already agreed to have the first payment be due a year from now.

Board attorney Dianne Gamble said there is an option to renew or decline renewal on an annual basis with 30 day prior to Oct. 1.