by Sarah Squires
The Winona County Board approved a $27,000 contract with a Twin Cities consultant to oversee an emergency radio communication upgrade that has been in the works for years.
The contract will be for coordination work to get the county’s new planned 800 megahertz system in place, one expected to improve communication ability for law enforcement and other emergency workers, as well as allow them to communicate effectively with other agencies across the state and nation.
But getting that system in place, which has been mandated by the federal government, has become a complex series of purchases and planning, government approval and grant timelines. Last week’s contract approval is just one step in a long line of purchases that will be necessary for the new radio system.
The county may be reimbursed through grant money for the consultant’s work on the system, but the county won’t know for sure until later this year.
New Board Chair
Winona County Board members also voted in two new leaders for 2010, selecting Commissioner Jim Pomeroy to serve as chair of the board, and Commissioner Mena Kaehler to serve as vice-chair.