Lost in the BCR article titled, “You’ve been Lucky,” was the praise Mr. Eatock had for Bureau County ESDA Coordinator, Kris Donarski. I would like to take this opportunity to echo Eatock’s comments. Kris does an outstanding job as her ESDA work must compete with her zoning duties. The comments in the article would lead a reader to assume that the county has been lax on upgrading the current BCSD radio communication capabilities. I can not speak for the portion of that 10-year period before I was elected to the Bureau County Board, but the subject has been discussed many times at both the Buildings and Grounds Committee meetings and the board meetings.
I have in front of me the minutes of the September and October, 2009, B&G meetings that were almost entirely devoted to presentations from radio vendors. The board also met in a special session to consider a dispatching proposal from BuEComm. The simple truth is that the board has never received a viable, written proposal from Sheriff John Thompson, and since the board can not direct the sheriff to a solution, it is now stalled eight months from the date the narrow banding migration has to be completed by. As to the “sticker shock” that Thompson refers to, I believe the cost of $164,500 as projected by Eatock is by far more reasonable than the $1.2 million Thompson had projected at one time. By the way, that $1.2 million projection was completed without the benefit of any assessment of current equipment, simply using the price of equipment from a list that would support the acquisition of the Starcom-21 system.
Lastly, I know the completed report is 171 pages, but I would recommend that BCR readers at least view it online as there are many more issues than simply equipment purchase that need to be resolved in the emergency radio system in use in Bureau County.
Bureau County Board member