Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

October 26, 2012

Panel says: move forward with paging system

CROSSVILLE — The emergency services committee approved a motion Wednesday night to move forward with a single site paging system with the capability to expand in the future and request the budget committee to appropriate the extra $20,000 for the project.

"I'm tired of us beating a dead horse here and I'm going to recommend a resolution that we go forward with this system as it was stated," said 5th District Commissioner Joe Koester.

The emergency services committee was charged with developing a recommendation on single site or single site with multi-site expansion capability after the county had two work sessions and several meetings regarding the project.

Cumberland County must meet an FCC mandate of moving to narrowband frequency by Jan 1, 2013. When doing so, the county will lose about 30 to 50 percent of its paging coverage. Therefore, the county was advised to set up a wideband frequency paging system for the fire department volunteers who use pagers.

Ninth District Commissioner Carmin Lynch said he didn't understand why it was necessary to have the added expense of expansion capability.

"On July 24 we were talking about single site. What don't we need in this $128,000 plan if we're just making it a single site?" Lynch asked.

Steve Rich, of Communications Group, the sole bidder on the project attended the meeting and addressed questions.

Lynch asked several times how much less it would be to make it only a single site paging system with no expansion capability.

"That's what we thought we were doing here in the beginning," Lynch said.

Both Rich and Eric Ritzman, county emergency radio system consultant, said it would roughly cost $50,000 to $60,000.

"What was requested, though, was a single site that was to be expandable. If you don't do that, it will cost extra to add more sites to fill in the dead spots," Rich said.

"More, but what's more? How much is that?" Lynch asked.

Ritzman then explained the emergency services committee was originally presented with a plan for a three-tower site paging system that would alleviate most of the dead spot coverage areas in the west end of the county.

"The cost was estimated at around $350,000 and I was requested to make it a single site proposal with room to expand in the future. That's what we did," Ritzman said.

Ritzman also explained that by lowering wattage on the tower for the single site from 250 to 100, it would bring down the cost to make the single site project come in around $120,000.

Rich said the county may not even be able to obtain a license for the 100 watt frequency because it is so late and the county hasn't applied for the license.

"I thought you were going to apply for the license," Lynch said to Ritzman. "Why haven't you applied for it?"

"There was no written guarantee that you (the county) were going to go forward with it," Ritzman said.

"We've already approved $100,000 for the project," Lynch said.

Lynch said there was only one bid on the project and that concerned him.

"I'm trying to get us the best deal I can here and save the taxpayers money and there's others who are trying to defend what is being proposed. I get concerned when the one proposal comes in at the same dollar figure," Lynch said.

"If you think I told them, I did not. I did not tell anyone the dollar figure. No," Ritzman said.

"I think the reason there was not more than one bid is that we went from a three-tower site down to a one-tower site and just was not economically feasible to do just one for most companies ... I mean, come on. We're dealing with lives and property here. Maybe in the future we will need to expand, but right now it's not on the horizon. We're stuck with this for now, but the hospitals still use it and I think we need to go with paging system and go with the best deal. I think we need to go with the recommended system," Koester said.

"The county is growing. We have to meet the needs for future expansion. You aren't the only one trying to save tax dollars. If we go with a single site we will just be wasting money if we want to expand in the future ... they are telling us we need three now," Allen Foster, 4th District commissioner said.

"We get the advice of the experts, the technicians and the users and user groups and then we come in here and we disregard it," Koester said. "Why not deal with the issue we have at hand and take care of this?"

"It is November and the clock is ticking," Nancy Hyder 2nd District commissioner and emergency services committee chairperson said.

Ritzman said if the county only goes with the single site, non-expandable system, then it will be like losing $70,000 when they have to build another site to expand in the future.

Hyder gave all commissioners an opportunity to ask Rich any questions they had about the system.

Foster said, "When it comes to this, memories get short. If we don't have him do this now and he comes back next year wanting to build the next site and we have $60 to $70,000 more, then you'll be yelling at him and asking why didn't we do it this way to begin with."

After much more debate, Koester made the motion to move forward with the single site, expandable system and it was supported by Roy Turner, 7th District commissioner.

The motion passed in a 6-2 vote.

Voting in favor were commissioners Hyder, Foster, Koester, Terry Carter, 6th District; Turner and Jeff Brown, 8th District.

Voting against the motion were commissioners Johnny Presley, 3rd District; and Lynch.

The committee voted unanimously to request the budget committee to appropriate $12,000 to pay for keeping the two frequencies that are used with the old radio system as back up.

"If you don't keep those frequencies you will alienate about half of the volunteer fire department," Ritzman said.

The budget committee is expected to review the two recommendations at its meeting next month Nov. 6.

Text Only
Area News
  • Cruikshank cattle called Cumberland County home

    Sept. 23, 1903, Chronicle reports, “The members of the Christian Church here are preparing to erect a church building on the corner lot facing Webb Avenue and the Rockwood Road. Dr. Thomas Snodgrass owned a block of lots near the Academy (Webster Academy) and before he died made the offer of a corner lot for the building of a Christian Church.

    August 1, 2014

  • Steak and Potatoes Field Day set Aug. 5

    The annual Steak and Potatoes Field Day, sponsored by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, will once again showcase the research and outreach activities at UT’s Plateau AgResearch and Education Center.

    August 1, 2014

  • Man dies while in custody

    The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the death of a man who died while in custody of local law enforcement.

    August 1, 2014

  • Hole in one highlights day one of Women's Open

    Haverly Harrold of Johnson City, TN, recorded a hole-in-one on the par 3, 11th hole in the first day of play at the 16th annual Golf Capital of Tennessee Women's Open at Stonehenge Golf Club Thursday.

    August 1, 2014

  • BOE recognizes city.jpg City praised by school officials

    The Cumberland County Board of Education, represented by Director of Schools Donald Andrews, right, recognized the city of Crossville, represented by City Manager David Rutherford, left, and Crossville Mayor J.H. Graham III, center, at its July 24 meeting with a certificate of appreciation for the city’s continued support of education in Cumberland County.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Report of missing child turns out false; one charged

    A man living in Crossville set off a major search by law enforcement officers and about 40 employees of a retail store after he reported a small child missing. He later recanted and has now been charged with a misdemeanor charge.

    July 31, 2014

  • tourism-granville.jpg Tourism talk dominates roundtable meeting

    Tourism is big business in Cumberland County and the state of Tennessee.
    Tennessee state officials visited the Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce and provided a wealth of information for a roundtable discussion County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr. organized.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • School system closes budget with more in reserves than planned

    The school system is going to end the year with a little more in its reserves than originally thought, Bob Scarbrough, transportation/maintenance supervisor and acting CFO, at the July 24 meeting of the Cumberland County Board of Education.
    "We believe there will be $4.7 million in the fund balance, which is quite a bit better than anticipated," Scarbrough said.

    July 31, 2014

  • Investigation into assault continues

    A Sparta Hwy. man found with lacerations to the back of the head told Cumberland County sheriff's deputies he was assaulted at a residence on Hwy. 70 N, but doesn't know why.

    July 31, 2014

  • Theft, arson of storage shed reported

    Someone broke into a storage shed and stole several items and, to add insult to injury, set the storage building on fire, according to a Cumberland County Sheriff's Department report.

    July 31, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014