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County Council approves E-911 upgrades, critical repairs to radio tower
posted December 5, 2007
EDGEFIELD – The Edgefield County Council
held their last meeting of the year Tuesday night with a full agenda,
including the announcement of Trantec as the recipient of a fee in lieu
of taxes agreement that was a closely guarded secret. However, the two
main issued faced by the county council was in relation to E911 and a
“critical situation” with the north radio tower for emergency services
The first to address council was Edgefield County E-911 Coordinator
Fran Forrest explaining that the county’s E-911 technology was due for
an upgrade. “We are required to upgrade the system every five years,”
Forrest explained. The cost of the upgrades would amount to an
estimated $145,922, of which a little over $98,000 would be reimbursed
by the state leaving roughly $47,000 left to be paid by the county’s
The one-dollar fee imposed on all telephones in the county is kept by
the county to pay for upgrades and maintenance of the county E-911
equipment. Currently the county holds just over $249,000 in fees
collected over the years. Elaine Kemp, of AT&T who will be
assisting in the upgrades, explained that the new technology would
improve dispatchers ability to map calls and increase their reporting
The county council approved the expenditures for the upgrades.
EMA Director Mike Casey was before the council once again this month
following up and the council’s previous request for bids to repair a
“critical situation” at the county’s north radio tower used by law
enforcement, fire, EMS, and county operations. Mr. Casey explained that
he was able to receive only one bid for repairs at the tower site and
that most companies asked to bid on the project refused to even climb
the tower. “An icing event or strong winds could bring the tower down,”
in its current condition Casey warned.
Mr. Casey said the only bid received for the repairs was submitted by a
John Riley, who constructed the tower originally, and totaled just
under $8,100. Mr. Casey asked for some “wiggle room” to fund any
additional problems encountered during the repairs. The county council
approved a maximum of $10,000 for the repairs. Mr. Casey also warned
the council that the tower had outlived its expected lifetime of
service of twenty years by seven years. “This should buy us another
twenty-four months,” Mr. Casey said adding that a new tower was
Mr. Casey suggested the council begin setting funding aside to pay for
a new tower in the near future so the estimated $150,000 would not come
as a surprise. It was also suggested the new tower be relocated to a
site at the EMS station on Star Road in Edgefield.
Administrator Pettigrew reported that the Edgefield County EMS received
two grants recently, one to provide for a “auto-pulse” CPR machine for
one of the ambulances that would provide CPR services letting the EMT
or Paramedic provide other care to a patient suffering from a heart
attack. The second grant provides for an AED (defribulator) at the
county court house and for up to ten people to be trained on its use.
In other business the county council approved second readings on
ordinances providing for; a supplement to the Code of Ordinances, the
fee in lieu of taxes for Trantec, and the Nuisance Ordinance.
Also approved was a change for the date of the January meeting from
January 1 to January 8, approval of the county’s holiday schedule to
coincide with the state approved holidays, and the intergovernmental
meeting hosted on January 31.
Chairman Kneece also stated the state was providing an additional
$21,297 in Park and Recreation (PARD) funding and the council voted to
distribute the additional funds by the present formula to outlying
areas of the county.
The council also approved a $1,000 request by County VA Officer John
Rikard for the state office hosting the national convention this year.
Before ending the meeting Chairman Kneece stated the council would be
meeting in executive session to discuss a “contractual matter” and no
decision would be coming when they returned to public session,
virtually ending the meeting.
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