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Meeker County approves radio plan

LITCHFIELD -- The Meeker County Board of Commissioners ap-proved a participation plan last week for implementing the 800-megahertz radio system that will make the county eligible for grant money.

Once the plan is approved by the regional and state board, the county could seek grants to offset the estimated $3 million in costs to be part of the statewide emergency radio network.

It's estimated the system will include $2 million in "backbone" improvements for the county's dispatch center and $1 million to purchase portable and mobile radios for the various emergency response entities throughout the county as well as the public works department.

The county is on record supporting the 800-megahertz system. A decision has not been made when to launch the project. County officials are expected to decide in December whether to initiate purchases yet this year or wait until 2010.

The timing issue will likely involve availability of state grant money and financial incentives by equipment companies.

In other action, the county accepted the resignation of four longtime employees who accepted voluntary early-retirement packages. Two or three of the vacated positions aren't expected to be filled.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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