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Swift County still plans to join Minn.'s emergency radio system

BENSON -- Swift County is continuing to move forward with plans to join the state's 800 MHz emergency radio system.

At their meeting this week, the county commissioners heard a 1½-hour presentation about the Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response system, which is also known as ARMER.

Individuals from the St. Cloud Police Department made the presentation and advised the commissioners on steps to take.

The only remaining question is how much the system will cost the county, said Auditor Byron Giese.

The commissioners agreed to set up a user's group that will help establish the system locally and authorized the sheriff's department to pursue grant money to obtain the necessary radios that are compatible with the 900 MHz system.

Giese said it doesn't appear Swift County will need to build a tower to complete radio coverage. There are currently several dead spots in Appleton and Swift Falls, but it's believed that towers that'll be erected in Kandiyohi County and Chippewa County will complete the coverage for Swift County, Giese said.

In other action:

- The commissioners approved a contract with Regional Development Commission to consolidate existing ordinances and resolve contradictory regulations. For example, the county's agriculture and shoreland ordinances have different limits on allowable animal units.

The process should be completed in about nine months.

- The commissioners approved the 2010 budget of $15.9 million, which includes a deficit between expenses and revenues of $220,000.

- The truth in taxation hearing was set for 6 p.m. on Dec. 15 in the board room at the Swift County Courthouse.

- A joint ditch hearing with representatives from Swift, Kandiyohi and Chippewa Counties will be held at 9 a.m. on Nov. 4 at the Swift County boardroom.

The hearing will address requests for improvements on JD 18, including a request to replace a dam on Shakopee Creek at Buffalo Lake.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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