Moffat County may be one step closer to getting online with a state-mandated digital radio system, depending how recent grant dollars from the Department of Homeland Security are divided up.
Moffat County and nine surrounding counties received nearly $200,000 from the federal agency to go toward digital trunk radio system that broadcasts in the 800-megahertz range. The state is requiring agencies to update to radio system to help the different arms of law enforcement, fire services and ambulances communicate.
Of the total, $10,000 will go to each county for communication centers in each county excluding Craig, because it has a statewide communications system.
Emergency management officials in the 10-county region will decide how to allocate the remaining funds, Moffat County Emergency Manager Clyde Anderson said. He said Colorado State Patrol Regional Dispatch located at the Moffat County Public Safety Center could use some of the funds to purchase radios that cost about $2,500 each.
"When we meet we'll figure out what to buy with that," he said. "We are the first ones in this region who could use the radios right now."
Moffat County also received $40,000 to go toward security improvements at the Public Safety Center.
Those funds will go toward video surveillance equipment and in-house communications, Anderson said.
Moffat County also may receive a vehicle to be used in emergency situations.
Almost $1.6 million was allocated to the 10-county region.
The department set aside a total of $2.2 billion for the 2004 grants.
Last year's Homeland Security grants provided Moffat County about $273,000 for infrastructure upgrades, such as security systems at the Craig Water Plant and an upgrade in communications at the Public Safety Center.
Prior to the last year's grants, jail officials said it sometimes was easier to talk to someone on the phone at the center from outside the facility, than inside.
Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org