Dispatch radio upgrade to cost Macedonia $608,000

Ken Lahmers
Correspondent
The city of Macedonia is planning to upgrade its communication system to 800 mhz, a process that will include updating equipment in its dispatch center, pictured here.

MACEDONIA – After several years in the planning stage, the city is moving forward with upgrading its dispatching center system and switching to 800 MHz radio operations.

Council on Sept. 24 approved three ordinances which will allow the city to get the new system in place within the next few months.

The city will purchase dispatch equipment and software from AVTEC for $168,900, and radio equipment for the system from Motorola Solutions Inc. for $360,000. System parts and installation services will be provided by B&C Communications for $80,000.

Finance Director John Veres explained the city will pay $33,000 up front, while $575,000 will be borrowed and paid off over a five-year period. Mayor Nick Molnar said the money comes from a 0.25% income tax hike OK’d by voters in 2018.

“This has been talked about for a long time, and I’m pleased to see it come to fruition,” said Fire Chief Brian Ripley, who has been working on the conversion project for the last couple of years. “It will benefit all departments.”

The chief said the new system will improve communications between police, fire and service department vehicles and with other agencies. He added it should take six to eight weeks for the equipment to arrive, and the system should be in operation around the first of the year.

“With our current system, we have dead zones where certain vehicles cannot communicate with each other,” explained Councilman Jeff Garvas. “This will alleviate that problem, and will be very beneficial for the community.”

Ripley said the new system and radios will come with an extended warranty. He said most other surrounding communities have 800 MHz systems, and Sagamore Hills is soon to add the upgraded technology.

“I want to recognize Chief Ripley for working diligently for quite some time on this project,” said Molnar. “It’s been a long time coming and will be a huge improvement.”

OTHER BUSINESS

Council approved legislation to strengthen an ordinance dealing with passing stopped school buses. The old ordinance defined the violation as a third-degree misdemeanor and allowed for a fine of up to $500.

Under the new law, a driver who is cited for passing a stopped bus and has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any other traffic offense within one year would be subject to a second-degree misdemeanor. Two or more other traffic offenses within a year would bump the charge to a first-degree misdemeanor.

Council confirmed the appointment of Jason Hach to the parks and recreation commission. It was noted he is a longtime city resident and is active in the community and sports.

Councilwoman Jan Tulley announced the 2021 budget process will kick off in October, and she hopes the first reading of the 2021 budget ordinance will take place Nov. 19. A permanent budget must be adopted by March 2021, but a temporary budget can be in place before that.

City Engineer Joe Gigliotti reported the Highland Road resurfacing is complete, and crack sealing is under way on Route 82.

Ripley announced the annual Macedonia Firefighters Association pancake breakfast is canceled for this year, as is the annual firefighters’ Halloween party.

Contact the newspaper at 330-541-9433, or newsleader@recordpub.com