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Radio purchase okayed for sheriff’s department


LaGrange County Sheriff Terry Martin and Communications Director Arron Knisley brought a proposal to the LaGrange County Commissioners Monday morning for new radios that came in at half the cost of a similar request from last year.

    Knisley told the commissioners Monday morning that at the end of last week, they were able to find a deal on 2011 model Motorola radios from a dealer in Colorado who was bringing in the new models. The cost per radio was quoted at $1,350. Previous quotes for the same radio were for $3,200 each, Knisley said.

    The importance in getting the new radios is due to mandatory changes that will take effect Jan. 1, 2013. Currently, radios at the jail do not meet those requirements. Handheld units from officers would transfer to jail officers following purchase of the new radios.

    Knisley also told the commissioners that local radio provider ERS out of Elkhart can service the new radios, which can be added to the county’s maintenance agreement with ERS.

    Last year, the department estimated a total cost of just over $135,000 for new radios. With installation and programming, Knisley said the cost to the county would be a maximum of $68,077, and could be less depending on the final cost of the consoles for each unit. But, Knisley noted, the offer would only last until the older radios sold out. He also pointed out that the dealer is fully certified by Motorola.

    “We will have to do this eventually,” Sheriff Terry Martin commented. “We can do it now at a real savings to the county.”

    The commissioners agreed and approved the purchase, earmarking Riverboat Gambling money to fund the purchase.

    In other business:

    The commissioners approved accepting a property bond for LaGrange County Clerk Beverly Elliott. County Attorney Kurt Bachman told the commissioners that Elliott and her attorney had corrected some deficiencies in the bond in order for it to be accepted.

    County Highway Superintendent Jeff Brill told the commissioners that they are beginning to look at using Major Moves funds to work on CR 200N near Pallet One, west of CR 400W. The hills will be flattened to make that stretch safer. He told the commissioners that there would be no federal money available for the project. He was looking into some highway safety funds that may be available.

    County Assessor Pat Monroe told the commissioners that tax bills are still on schedule. Bills for 2012 payable in 2013 are coming along as well, with field work 100 percent done and data entry 25 percent completed.

    County Planning Administrator Bob Shanahan informed the commissioners that there will be a hearing in March regarding the operation of a salvage yard on old US 20 just west of Shore Mennonite Church.