‘Private placement letter’ for radio communications project approved

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following story updates one that first appeared in the Friday, Aug. 3 Tribune but also clarifies and corrects a few items that first appeared Friday.
The Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors last week heard an updated proposal from the engineering consultant firm that presented the Chickasaw County Radio Communications Project study in May.
The action taken Monday was to approve for financial consultant Piper Jaffray to compose a letter stating the county would like to use financial institutions located locally, which is officially termed a “private placement letter,” for the project.
This project is in response to, not only the unintended consequences of a required narrow-banding wave that had to be completed by the end of 2012, but moreover the system will also be designed to function in the next wave of narrow-banding, which will happen before 2030.
“You would be well-prepared for that through this project,” said study author Gary Therkelsen with GJ Therkelsen and Associates Inc.
Essentially, there are three projects proposals on the table, Emergency Management coordinator Austen Seely said.
• County radio communication operations, excluding ambulance ($2.68 million)
• County operations, including ambulance ($2.85 million)
• Option A or B, including fire radios ($327,500) or excluding fire radios (no extra cost)
The proposal is valid for 60 days from July 25, the date of the cover letter.
On Monday, option C including the radios was rounded to $3.1 million, in informal Board of Supervisors discussion, with Seely saying the 911 board would assist with “available” project funding. Seely noted last week that the 911 board had or would set aside $175,000 for the project.
The system is expected to have a 25-year lifespan, Seely said. “That’s a long time actually,” Seely added, contrasting it with his laptop, which he noted was “probably going to be junk in three years.”
Representative Travis Squires for financial consultant Piper Jaffray presented the sum of annual payments when the project is amortized over five years...
— For more on this story, see the Aug. 10 New Hampton Tribune.

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