Carbon County is nearing completion of the countywide narrowband radio project.
During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, Commissioner Wayne Nothstein, chairman, updated the board on the narrowband project, which is a Federal Communications Commission mandate.
The FCC requires that by Jan. 1, 2013, all radio frequencies will be changed to 12.5 kHz bandwidth for emergency personnel. This means that all municipality and county groups that use radios for emergency situations need to be changed over to radios that can use the new frequencies or face a $10,000 a day fine.
Nothstein said that as of last week, all installations of the equipment in the municipalities that took part in the project have been completed, with only a few minor issues being hammered out.
He added that the tentative dates for the planned changeovers to narrowband frequencies are as follows:
Ÿ Dec. 6 for EMS and local government.
Ÿ Dec. 10 for police
Ÿ Dec. 12 for fire departments
Ÿ Dec. 19 for all pagers.
"We hope to keep on schedule with implementing the new system," Nothstein said.
He added that the county has not yet received all bills associated with the project, so it doesn't have the final costs for each municipality yet.
Initially, it looked as if municipalities would be required to pay up to 30 percent of the total cost for their equipment and installation, but figures have been coming in lower than expected and the county expects that the municipality shares will be significantly lower.
Carbon County has been working on the narrowband radio project with area municipalities since early last year when the county commissioners decided to help ease the burden that emergency personnel were facing as a result of the federal mandate by applying for a countywide grant.
The county hired Delta Development Group Inc. of Mechanicsburg at a cost of $10,000 to handle the $1.4 million Local Share grant application.
In January, county officials received word that they would be receiving $907,453 of local share funds to complete the project.