Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 21, 2018

$6M communications contract approved

Jul 25, 2018

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


Washington County Assistant Attorney Chauncey Molding asked the county Board of Supervisors Tuesday for a week to examine a revised communications contract only just received by the county, but with the clock ticking down to the end of an offered 10 percent discount, action was needed that day.

After a recess to confer with RACOM Corp. on the contract, the supervisors, with the nod of approval from County Attorney John Gish, voted to approve the contract for $4.5 million in new communication equipment and $1.5 million for maintenance. The supervisors stressed the contract had to be ratified Tuesday because that was the last day the discount was offered.

“We were able to look over the updates and I believe they accurately correct some of the issues we pointed out during a conference call on Friday,” Gish said. “The biggest thing I was worried about was the payment plan. The original contract required the county to make payment the day of signing. That has been corrected and it allows the county to pay on Sept. 15 in accordance with our previous conversation.”

He said both sides are comfortable with the new contract and it would be appropriate for the supervisors to approve the contract.

The contract was unanimously approved. The purchase contract with RACOM is part of the county’s plan to improve the emergency communications system. Currently the system has about a 35 percent coverage for portable radios in buildings.

This contract includes system hardware and installation of radios in vehicles, portable radios, pagers, and a 10-year maintenance agreement. There was discussion during the meeting whether the contract includes setting up new communication towers. It does not.

Part of the plan to upgrade the county’s communication system also includes the construction of a new communications center. The supervisors believe there will have to be a bond referendum for the project.

During the meeting, the supervisors commented that RACOM, based in Marshalltown, had sustained damage during a tornado that hit the town last week. The report was the communications system based in Marshalltown had remained operational even during the EF-3 tornado which damaged the main building.

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