A new project that will cost Putnam County approximately $150,000 will be alleviated, slightly, by a grant Putnam County 911 Director Dave Costin announced this week to the county commissioners and council.
The county received a grant for $24,734 to help with the cost of narrow banding its dispatch equipment. Costin estimates the total cost of the project will be between $140,000 and $150,000.
"For a single agency, we got the single biggest grant in the state," Costin said.
The Federal Communication Commission has mandated that agencies narrow the bandwidth of their communications channels, as there is no room left for additional frequencies. The narrow banding must be completed by Jan. 1, 2013, or agencies will face stiff penalties.
The affected portion of county dispatch is the two-tone paging of fire departments. The cost estimated given by Costin should cover all replacements and upgrades his system will need.
Where the remainder of the money will come from remains unknown, but Costin said the county will explore financing options.
The grant money comes from the 2010 Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program, a federal program administered by the State of Indiana.
Also before the commissioners Monday was the opening of qualifications for the Edgelea road project.
Although no bids were submitted, four firms submitted their qualifications for the project, which includes references to similar work done by the contractors as well as a proposed schedule for the project.
County Attorney Scott Hoff said he saw "significant differences" in the timetables submitted by the various contractors.
Those submitting qualifications for the project were DLZ, USI Consultants, Shrewsberry & Associates and BLN Consulting. The commissioners have the choice of which of the firms they approve.
Approved contractors will then have the chance to bid on the project.