Walker, Dade Counties going 800Mhz

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Jan 9, 2004
Ringgold, Georgia
As expected, Walker and Dade counties will join Catoosa County on Chattanooga's 800Mhz trunked system.
Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson said Thursday it will take 12-18 months for sheriff, city police departments, fire-rescue and EMS to make the switch using digital comms on Chattanooga's 800Mhz system. In Walker, new 800 sites will go on the south end of Lookount Mnt and another south of Lafayette. They will compliment existing towers on north end on Lookout Mnt and Taylors Ridge in catoosa County.
Keep in mind Chattanooga also got more than $14-million in Homeland Security grants to expand the city's system north along the I-75 corridor into the Knoxville/Oak Ridge area, which is being billed as "Phase-1" of a Tennessee statewide system.
Below is an article from 4/10/2008 on Chattanoogan.com.

$5.77 Million Homeland Security Grant To Go For Regional Communications Network
posted April 10, 2008

The Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office, representing the Northwest Georgia Interoperability Communication Network, has been chosen to receive Homeland Security funds in the amount of $5.77 million.

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue on Wednesday announced the recipients of $20 million in Public Safety Interoperability Communication Grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Northwest Georgia network is comprised of Catoosa, Dade and Walker Counties and designed to develop a Regional Communication System in conjunction with Chattanooga/Hamilton County. Currently, Catoosa County has partnered with Chattanooga/Hamilton County and is part of the Hamilton County Communication System.

Wednesday’s award will enable Walker County and Dade County to join Catoosa and become part of the regional communication network with Chattanooga/Hamilton County.

Catoosa County Sheriff Phil Summers said, "We are very proud that we were selected as one of only four recipients to receive this communication grant in Georgia. This represents three years of work by Catoosa County and our neighbors in Hamilton County to achieve our goal to design and implement a true regional communication system.

"With Gov. Perdue’s announcement, I feel the emergency services of Northwest Georgia won the communication lottery. We are excited and are prepared to move forward in implementing our regional plan."
Dec 19, 2002
West of the Muddy Creek, East of the Big Hill.
This was posted on the Chattanooga Times FreePress Friday April 11,2008 Edition

Great Investment for the Area!

$5.77 million grant funds emergency communications network

By: Ronnie Moore
RINGGOLD, Ga. — Law enforcement and emergency officials in Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties will be able to communicate with the help of a $5.77 million Homeland Security grant, Catoosa County Sheriff Phil Summers said.

“We’ve worked on this grant process for three years and are extremely pleased with the result,” he said. “It’s like winning the lottery.”

The public safety grant will support the Northwest Georgia Interoperable Communications Network, Marshall Guest, a spokesman in Gov. Sonny Perdue’s press office, said Wednesday.

He said the grant for Catoosa, Walker and Dade was one of five for Georgia totaling $20 million.

Sheriff Summers said Catoosa County joined the Chattanooga-Hamilton County communications system last year, and is pleased with the function of the 800 megahertz system.

“Our three counties had the vision to move forward with a regional radio system and Walker and Dade committed to the 20 percent matching funds,” Mr. Summers said.

He said Catoosa County allocated $500,000 for an upgrade of the 911 center and that will cover the county’s required match.

“The use of microwave technology, rather than T-1 telephone lines, will provide improved communications and save Catoosa about $40,000 each year,” the sheriff said.

The grant will finance construction of a simulcast tower on Ooltewah-Ringgold Road, two towers in Walker and one in Dade. The grant funds must be used by the end of 2009.

Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson said improvement in the communications system for the three Northwest Georgia counties has been needed for a long time.

“I can’t say enough about Sheriff Summers and his staff for taking the lead in developing the grant request,” Sheriff Wilson said.

Mr. Summers’ office was the lead agency in applying last year for the grant to expand the radio communications system, and he said the Department of Homeland Security promotes the use of a regional system for emergency responders.

A spokesman for Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell said the tentative capital projects list for the 2008 special purpose local option sales tax referendum has $2 million for technology. That amount would include a match for the federal grant.

Sheriff Summers said the grant money cannot be used for the portable radios for the 800 MHz system, which sell for $5,000 per unit, but the county matching funds can be used to buy the radios.
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