Board Goes With VIPER
Moore County will adopt VIPER as its narrowband emergency communications system, a change mandated by the Federal Communications Commission.
At a Thursday work session the board of commissioners voted unanimously to direct the staff to move forward on the narrow banding issue and to use the VIPER system. The motion by Commissioner Larry Caddell also authorizes the staff to seek bids.
“Based on the evidence before us, VIPER is a no-brainer,” Caddell said.
Although they discussed funding options for the system changeover, the commissioners did not make a decision about the source of funding during the meeting. The system is estimated to cost $4.9 million, but Public Safety Director Brian Phillips said the overall cost might be lower.
VIPER is the system used by the State Highway Patrol, which will hold the license and will administer the program once it is in place. By joining VIPER, Moore County will be able to communicate with neighboring counties, some of which have already switched to VIPER.
The FCC mandate goes into effect Jan. 1, 2013, and public safety officials advised the board that time is of utmost importance.
County Manager Cary McSwain called it a major multi-year capital project and said a portion of the cost is built into the proposed budget for the new fiscal year.
Most of the time was devoted to discussion of miscellaneous aspects of the budget unveiled to the board at the regular meeting Tuesday.
Under board policy, the commissioners do not usually take action at work sessions, but they made two exceptions this time. In addition to the VIPER decision, they also agreed by consensus to consider reinstating $12,483 to the Department of Aging budget to cover a sharp cut in federal funding to RSVP, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.
The proposed funding of the public schools was discussed, but there was no talk of increasing the amount included in the manager’s budget.
The commissioners also discussed employee compensation and fire district budgets.
More details will appear in the print version of The Pilot.
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