Madison County leaders approved action March 31 to improve emergency communications in the southern section of the county.
Volunteer firemen in the Hull and Colbert areas have complained about radio messages not getting through on emergency calls. Those signals have been coming off a transmitter at the county’s water tower near Hull-Sanford Elementary School. That tower had to be lowered in recent years because it’s in the flight path of the Athens Airport. When the county set up emergency communications off that tower, another water tower on Hwy. 72 was not in place. But now, 9-1-1 director David Camp says it makes sense to establish a “remote radio site” at the Hwy. 72 tower to improve emergency communications in the Colbert and Hull areas, which are currently served by the lower tower near Hull-Sanford Elementary School. The change is also expected to improve communications in the Shiloh and Neese areas, since the equipment at the Hull site will no longer have to serve the Colbert area, too.
The cost of the radio site upgrades is $61,128. The board plans to use approximately $40,000 in sales tax funds for the upgrade and pull about $20,000 out of the county’s reserve funds.