Northampton approves bid to fix E911 tower equipment

Published 4:35 pm Friday, November 26, 2021

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JACKSON – The Northampton County Board of Commissioners considered bids for fixing equipment at three communication towers during their regular meeting here on Nov. 15.

Northampton’s E911 Director Lakeshia Ransom presented the information to the commissioners. Three of the five towers used for emergency communications needed the repairs.

“The radio equipment that we’re using at the towers have been discontinued, which means the equipment has become obsolete with new technologies available,” Ransom explained.

She said there was a dire need to make the necessary repairs, particularly on the eastern end of the county where the faulty equipment makes it especially hard to hear callers or first responders.

“They can hardly hear us and we can hardly hear them,” Ransom emphasized.

Of the three bids presented, the lowest came from Radio Communications Company which currently already provides maintenance for the county. Their quote totaled $133,775 for the work.

Ransom concluded her presentation by stressing the importance of the equipment, saying, “it not only benefits our first responders, but it benefits the citizens of Northampton County.”

Commissioner Geneva Faulkner asked about the county’s other two towers which were not included in the repair bid.

“The other two are fairly new,” Ransom explained.

Faulkner also asked when the new equipment would be installed and if there’s money in the department’s budget to cover everything.

Ransom answered that it could be as soon as January but it would still take a few weeks turnaround to complete all the work.

Interim Finance Officer Doris Garner answered the budget question, noting that the department did not have enough money allocated to cover the full cost, and there would have to be a budget amendment.

Board Chair Charles Tyner said they would decide later whether the rest of the funding will come from the county’s fund balance, or elsewhere in the county’s budget.

Faulkner motioned to approve the quote from Radio Communications Company, and Commissioner Joyce Buffaloe seconded. The vote was unanimously in favor without further discussion. Commissioner Kelvin Edwards was not in attendance to vote.