ARMER project moving forwardCommissioners took steps toward the Allied Radio Matrix Emergency Response (ARMER) system going live in January 2013 at their February 28 meeting.
By: Crystal Dey, Alexandria Echo Press
Commissioners took steps toward the Allied Radio Matrix Emergency Response (ARMER) system going live in January 2013 at their February 28 meeting.
ARMER is a radio system that will enable all law enforcement, fire and emergency personnel on federal, state, county and local levels to communicate with each other in ways they were unable to in the past.
Chief Deputy Brad Lake said the ARMER system will help keep communication flowing between Hazmat crews, the sheriff’s office, state patrols and other emergency personnel during incidents like the recent fatality on I94 and the tanker crash the week prior.
The sheriff’s office requested the board approve first-year maintenance costs associated with a channel expansion to existing ARMER stations in the county. The board approved the request, which will add a channel to the towers in Garfield and Hoffman.
However the request was not approved without inquiry as to why it is necessary.
“Is what we purchased for so many millions of dollars so inadequate that we have to add channels?” Commissioner Jerry Johnson asked.
Lake explained that the additional channels were something that had been anticipated.
“In 2010 we thought we would have to add three and a half channels,” he said. “We knew we were going to have to add the extra channel capacity for Douglas County.”
Now that the exact tower locations have been identified, adding the two channels should be sufficient for the county’s future needs, Lake said.
Lake presented Motorola’s costs for the expansion change order to the board. A grand total of $75,496 is expected to be offset by $50,805 in grant funding.
Lake said he believes 13 grants have been submitted since 2008 for the ARMER project.
The county has already budgeted $69,000 for the project, after bonding and grants Lake estimated the project will come in more than $44,000 under budget.
The first year maintenance cost will be approximately $13,000 with totals around $6,000 per year projected for the next four years post warranty.
Additionally, the board approved a resolution to include Douglas County in a regional logger project. Logging of dispatch calls is currently done through an antiquated analog system. By joining the Central Minnesota Emergency Services Board (CMNESB) regional logger project, the county will be able to share services and equipment to improve its public safety efforts.
The CMNESB has obtained a grant that will defray portions of the costs associated with implementing the regional logger project.
Douglas County has issued a request for proposals for installation of a new VoIP E911 system in the new public safety communications center. The county also requests proposals for the purchase of a master clock system that will synchronize 911, radio, CAD/RMS and the recording system.
A $250 donation to the DARE program from the Golden K Kiwanis Club of Alexandria was also accepted.
PROJECTS AND GRANTS
• The board approved county Auditor/Treasurer Char Rosenow’s request to apply for a Help America Vote Act (HAVA) grant. The grant offers $300 per polling place to help with operating costs of assistive voting equipment and vote counting equipment for the 2012 election year. Rosenow said the grant was for up to $9,000 reimbursement for expenses.
• Commissioners awarded the Douglas County Public Works 2012 Highway Sign Materials contract to the lowest bidder, M&R Signs, Inc. of Fergus Falls for $11,035.40. Newman Traffic Signs out of Jamestown, North Dakota submitted a $11,268.97 bid.
• Before the lighted horseshoe pit project can progress at Curt Felt Memorial Park, the Minnesota Historical Society will review the site to determine if it is a potential location for historical or archeological resources.
• The courthouse carpet proposal has been granted to Arnquist Carpets Plus Colortile for their low bid of $24,300. Cullen’s Home Center ($25,428) and MCI ($26,405) also bid on the project.