In light of two unfavorable developments, county officials are exploring new funding options for the multi-million-dollar replacement of Barrow County Emergency Services’ radio system. The issue now has ventured into the political arena, with critics raising questions about how Barrow County commission chairman Danny Yearwood has handled the situation. In response to complaints that he has left both municipal officials and his own board out of the loop, he met personally with the mayors at a private meeting on April 13 and has called a meeting of the Barrow County Board of Commissioners for 3 p.m. Thursday, April 19.
Facing a Jan. 1, 2013 federal mandate to narrow band emergency radio frequencies, officials had planned to use about $1.8 million in savings from the refunding of six-year-old bonds to cover at least the first phase of the project. However, bond interest rates have risen, cutting in half the projected savings from the proposed refunding.
In addition, two firms bidding on the narrow-banding project say the project will cost closer to $5 million than the $3.75 million projected by an engineering consultant.
For the full story, see the April 18 issue of the Barrow Journal.