Financing an option for $19.2 million Butler County equipment bill

Fairfield Police officer Scott Webb displays his radio outside the police station, Wednesday, Aug. 2. Butler County officials and police and fire departments across the county are looking at a $19.2 million price tag to replace parts of the 800 MHz communications systems, including the radios first responders carry.GREG LYNCH / STAFF

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Fairfield Police officer Scott Webb displays his radio outside the police station, Wednesday, Aug. 2. Butler County officials and police and fire departments across the county are looking at a $19.2 million price tag to replace parts of the 800 MHz communications systems, including the radios first responders carry.GREG LYNCH / STAFF

There are options for financing the replacement of $19.2 million worth of emergency response equipment for Butler County and its various police and fire jurisdictions.

County Administrator Charlie Young told the Journal-News he asked the sheriff’s department to hold off as long as possible on the infrastructure upgrade and replacing aging radios all police, firefighters and others carry. About two weeks ago he was told, time’s up.

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Motorola, the company that provides the equipment has stopped making the radios and won’t service them starting in 2019. So it seemed everyone needed to budget replacements next year. Young said that may not be the case.

“The sheriff has worked out a financing plan where the payments would then be started in 2019 and would run for two or three or five years, whatever makes sense,” Young said. “The county can either pursue that financing scheme or find some other way to pay for it.”

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The local police and fire jurisdictions are on the hook for their own radios.

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