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North Fulton cities approve agreement for radio system
by Rachel Kellogg and Joan Durbin
December 19, 2012 01:43 PM | 3228 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alpharetta, Milton, Roswell, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs will be entering into an agreement to begin putting together a jointly shared emergency radio system.

Alpharetta, Milton and Roswell approved the intergovernmental agreement at their council meetings Monday. Sandy Springs was scheduled to approve the agreement Tuesday.

Johns Creek is slated to approve the agreement at the first of the new year.

The agreement calls for Sandy Springs to take the lead in procuring various elements of a new system, with each individual contract for equipment and services to be approved by each of the other signatories.

Mountain Park will also be on the system but will not be contributing monetarily, according to Roswell’s City Administrator Kay Love.

Roswell’s capital contribution to the new system is estimated to be $4.2 million, while Alpharetta’s is $3 million, Milton’s is $1.9 million, Johns Creek’s is $2.7 million and Sandy Springs’ is $3.9 million.

According to Alpharetta’s Public Safety Director Gary George, the city’s portion of the system will be funded with E-911 reserves and DEA, or confiscated asset, funds, and not with taxpayer money.

Additionally, the city of Alpharetta will not have to erect a radio tower, according to George.

Until now, the cities’ emergency and public safety radios have been tied to the Fulton County trunk, an analog system built in the 1990s.

According to city officials, the system has been problematic for several years due to its incompatibility with surrounding digital systems, increasing instability, discontinuation of manufacturer support and a high usage fee charged by Fulton County.

The county system will not meet FCC standards after 2014, so instead of entering into a new system with Fulton, the five cities will work together.

“The cities look a lot like the [proposed new] county of Milton,” said Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle after the city passed the agreement 6-0, with Councilman Donald Mitchell absent.

Belle Isle said the agreement helps to prove “there’s nothing Fulton can do that the cities can’t do better.”

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