Barton County began 2011 in a position that most counties, most businesses and most individuals can only dream about. It started with new that it would receive a grant for more than $160,000 to help pay for an important communications program this year.
“It’s nice to start the new year with good news,” County Administrator Richard Boeckman commented.
The county received a $163,940 Wireless 911 Enhanced Grant from the state, which Boeckman, as the interim 911 director, had helped the county staff apply for. The county applied in August in an effort to help fund continued improvements in county emergency radio equipment, specifically radio repeater and generator equipment.
This is just one of the major grants the county has received in recent years as it has continue to invest in its communications system, Boeckman reported, adding that it had received a $250,000-plus grant in 2009 and another for more than $130,000 in 2010, for the phone system and other equipment.
Now the county is moving ahead with mandated efforts to provide the equipment and facilities needed for the narrowband communications program.
The county has to invest in a narrow band communications system as the nation’s radio bands area carrying more and more information. This is being mandated by the Federal Communications Commission.
The current work that will be performed by Mobile Radio of Great Bend, will be funded with $153,653 in grant funds; $71,311.50 in 911 Wireless Tax revenues; $16,888 from the county Capital Improvement Fund; and $1,616 from the county Equipment Replacement Fund.
County officials noted that only the last two amounts are being funded from county property taxes.