Lake officials take out $20M loan for communications gear

2014-04-23T19:42:00Z 2014-04-24T01:10:04Z Lake officials take out $20M loan for communications gearBy Bill Dolan, (219) 662-5328

CROWN POINT | The Lake County Board of Commissioners finalized a $20 million package Wednesday to finance the launch its consolidated E-911 service.

The three commissioners voted unanimously at a special meeting to borrow that amount to cover the construction and equipment costs of merging 17 city, town and county police and fire dispatch centers into a countywide network by year's end, as mandated by state law.

Last month, commissioners signed a 15-year deal with Motorola Solutions for an interoperable 700 megahertz P25 Trunked Voice radio infrastructure — an $8.4 million state-of-the-art digital radio network as well as  $862,000 for additional radios, sirens and other equipment.

The county is renovating a section of the Lake County Government Complex to accommodate a central call and dispatch center that will receive much of the communications hardware as well a back-up center in East Chicago.

It also has to construct two new communications towers and rent five others around the county, and buy about $3 million in personal radio receivers to be used by county police officers and ambulance and fire services working for township trustees.

Lake County Commissioner President Mike Repay, D-Hammond, said the $20 million loan is $1 million less in cost than they initially anticipated. "That is good news for taxpayers," he said.

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