$500,000 NEEDED TO FIX RADIO SYSTEM

May 12, 2001 12:00 am

GOLD BEACH The north countys crumbling and outdated emergency communications system will cost $527,196 to set right, according to an ad-hoc committee that has studied the issue.

The committee, made up of Sheriff Kent Owens, Capt. Mark Metcalf, Roadmaster Dan Crumley, Emergency Services Coordinator Mike Murphy, and Dennis Cassel of Day Wireless, the countys radio maintenance contractor, based its recommendation on a consultants report.

County officials have known for months that crumbling communications towers and 40-year-old radio equipment could knock out police, fire and ambulance transmissions in the north county.

Using the consultants figures, the committee recommended repairing the Grizzly Mountain tower site for $22,700.

The Stone Butte replacement to Eightmile Prairie would cost $50,900. Adding a site at Harbor Hill to supplement Bosley Butte would cost $98,930.

Adding a site for a river repeater for up-river coverage to Agness would cost $22,880. Replacing all VHF repeater transceivers would cost $51,990.

Replacing all fixed-control station transceivers would cost $17,330. Replacing all microwave, voting and control equipment would cost $174,600.

Besides the items listed above, the committee also recommended figuring in a 20 percent contingency fund for $87,866.

Commissioner Lucie La Bont has been looking for grant funds for the repairs.

She and committee members have discussed how to write a request for proposals with the Oregon State Police Technical Division.

She said Monday that Oregon Economic and Community Development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Peter DeFazio are assisting in the search for funding.

Owens and Metcalf are working with other local agencies to assess their needs. Landowners at the various sites are being contacted.