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County’s E911 system on track

Construction is set to begin this fall on a new telecommunications tower for the county’s new emergency services radio communication system.

The telecommunications tower will be constructed on property owned by Daniel and Sarah Esh at the intersection of Red House Road and Vincent Store Road.

According to Assistant County Administrator Monica Elder, the tower will also provide broadband expansion opportunities in the county.

Elder said per the lease agreement, there is no monthly rental fee the county is responsible for associated with the county’s use of the Esh’s property for the tower site.

In all, the county will need five telecommunications towers to install emergency services equipment. County officials were able to negotiate lease terms that came in under budget for four of the towers and will be constructing the fifth tower.

“Currently, the county is working with tower owners to finalize lease agreements that allow for the placement of necessary equipment on the towers and in the tower compounds,” Elder said. “Radio Communications of Virginia has received the system equipment from Motorola and is now working on staging the system for testing and customer review at their office in Glen Allen.”

According to Elder, the new system is set to go live at the end of July 2021.

In December 2019, after years of researching, committee meetings, adding and deleting of equipment, the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors (BOS) voted to purchase a radio communication system for the county at just over $3 million.

Following that vote, Wylliesburg/Red Oak supervisor Kay Pierantoni said, “If you make any big purchase, you will always have those second thoughts. And if we could continue, I think we’d go back and Monday morning quarterback on this, we’d probably do a lot of things different. This county recognized several years ago that we were in desperate need of a communication system, and then it took many twists and turns. But at some point, on any big decision, you have to stop and say, this is where we are, and this is all that we know, and it’s best to move forward.”