County plans to update first responder towers instead of building new ones
Dane County will likely not be building new first responder radio towers, and the money will likely go toward adding equipment to existing towers.
After repeated problems, including officers and firefighters losing communication during emergencies, the county board added millions of dollars for new towers and equipment.
But now, County Executive Joe Parisi’s Chief of Staff Josh Wescott said the money will likely be spent on putting equipment on five existing tower sites.
“It’s easier to build partnerships than it is to build hundreds of feet of steel and concrete,” Wescott said. “The goal is to have an enhanced radio communication system online as soon as practically possible. If it saves time, get the project online quicker. Yes that’s been part of our focus.”
Westcott said the change is necessary because new tower sites would need community input and zoning approval.
The president of the Police Chief Association said since radio problems continue, his members are concerned about the solution being able to provide the best coverage.
Westcott said he is confident the new equipment being added to existing towers will take care of the problems.
Westcott said a recent radio failure issue in Cross Plains was an equipment issue.