FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to buy a new dispatch radio console with four dispatch stations and to have it installed at the Regional Communications Center.

Half the money will come out of the county’s undesignated fund and the other half will come from the tax-increment financing agreement the county has for the unorganized territory.

Replacing the current console, which is about 12 years old, is part of a five-year plan to improve emergency communications.

Commissioners asked Communications Director Stan Wheeler earlier this month to get a price on a console if the county paid cash for it.

Wheeler presented two quotes for the console and installation.

The price to buy one direct from Zetron Inc. of Washington is $166,516.04, he said. The price to install it from Communication Consulting Service Inc. of Gray is $5,000, he said.

The president of the installation company, Rick Davol, has been working as a consultant for the county to improve emergency radio communications.

A price from RCM Radio Management in Portland, which is a dealer of Zetron equipment, is $225,869.70, including $59,000 for installation, Wheeler said.

Commissioners opted for the bid from Zetron for $171,516.04, with installation.

Commissioner Charles Webster of Farmington asked that from now on, money be set aside in the budget for items like the console.

The county Budget Advisory Committee removed $17,550 from Wheeler’s budget in June that would have been half a down payment for a five-year lease/purchase agreement. The other half was to come out of TIF funds.

Wheeler carried over about $17,000 from his budget to the county’s undesignated fund to go toward a new console.

Since then, a dispatch advisory board voted to support the purchase.

The console, if ordered Tuesday, could be shipped by the end of the year, Wheeler said. 

Wheeler also announced that dispatcher Levi Gould was named Dispatcher of the Year for 2015 and dispatcher Mike Ryan was named Dispatcher of the Year for 2016 for their service to county communications.

In other business, commissioners approved a three-year renewal contract with ICON, based in Georgia, that supplies software for all 16 county probate courts in the state. The cost is $2,360 a year, Register of Probate Joyce Morton said.

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