New Radio System for Bowling Green / Warren County

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Dec 19, 2002
Nashville, TN
Va. firm to aid in overhauling radio system - Bowling Green Daily News: Local News

Va. firm to aid in overhauling radio system
By JUSTIN STORY, The Daily News, | Posted: Saturday, March 10, 2012 6:00 am
A Virginia-based company has been hired as a consultant to assist in the overhaul of the radio system used by local public safety officials.
Federal Engineering will help design a new emergency communications system for $77,700, a cost that will be split between city and county governments.
The Warren County Fiscal Court approved Federal Engineering for the consultancy Thursday, while the Bowling Green Board of Commissioners gave its approval Tuesday.
Based in Fairfax, Va., the company was one of eight consulting firms to submit bids.
Federal Engineering will assess the current radio system used by law enforcement, firefighters and other emergency personnel, a system that officials are saying is in need of being replaced.
“The current system we have has outlived its usefulness,” said Ronnie Pearson, Warren County Emergency Management director. “This one was installed in 1997. We purchased it used at a great discount. It had been used in the Olympic Village in Atlanta.”
Pearson said the analog system, operating with a single radio tower, serves 1,300 radios, about a 30 percent growth since its installation.
“We anticipate about the same kind of growth, so we want to develop enough capacity to be able to handle that,” he said.
The consultant will recommend what type of digital system to use as well as suggest the best placement of towers, which could mean using existing towers, attaching transmitters to such structures as water towers or even installing the county’s own towers.
Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon expects it to be a multimillion-dollar project for which bonds will be sold.
While no decision has been made, Buchanon said the bond indebtedness is something that could be repaid with 911 fees on area landlines.
Pearson is one of four members of a committee formed last year to oversee the implementation of a new countywide radio communications system for emergency services. Other committee members are Bowling Green Police Department Chief Doug Hawkins, Chief Greg Johnson of the Bowling Green Fire Department and Maj. Tommy Smith, chief deputy of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.
From the eight firms that submitted bids, the committee selected four finalists based on costs, experience and feedback from references.
Representatives from each of the four firms met with the committee in February, and the recommendation was made to city and county government officials Feb. 23 to go with Federal Engineering.
At Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, Hawkins said the company had a “great deal of experience” as a consultant, which included working with Bowling Green Municipal Utilities on its communications system.
“It’s a smaller system, but in many ways it’s a similar system,” Hawkins said.
After completing the assessment, which is expected to take six months, and determining how many radio towers the new system will need, Pearson said Federal Engineering will develop a conceptual plan.
A request for proposal will be advertised to solicit bids from vendors. Federal Engineering will help evaluate proposals, make a recommendation and act as the agent in negotiations with the vendor for design approval and other details.
After a vendor is selected and placed under contract to build the system, the consultant will remain to ensure that building specifications are maintained throughout construction.
The project is expected to be completed in 18 to 24 months.
— The Daily News’ Robyn L. Minor contributed to this story.


Premium Subscriber
Jan 29, 2001
Warren Co, KY
Sounds as though we possibly could be heading towards an unmonitorable system, not being an optimist and looking at trends here in KY with Govts going to Trbo or Nex systems. A monitorable APCO would be a thought. With BGMU on a phase 2 FDMA/TDMA system, we could be headed that route also. We'll see. Thanks for the post Ben.
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