Alamance County Central Communications Current and Future Equipment Projects
Project Budget: $800,000
VHF System Upgrade Summary:
Borrowing Date: October 2019
Construction Start Date: November 2019
Estimated Completion Date: May 2021
Operating Impact: $44,317 (Beginning May 2021)
The VHF System communicates concurrently with the VIPER system for every EMS and county fire department call and is also the primary back up radio system for all county emergency services.
When CCom relays information to EMS and county fire departments, information is shared by radio (VIPER) and pager (VHF). Pagers are often the first point of contact for paramedics and volunteer fire personnel as radios are not always available or on hand.
The VHF system, which is county-owned, was previously the primary communications system for decades, but corrosion and wear and tear negatively impacted service. As of January 1, 2013, the FCC enforced the Narrow-Banding Mandate of all land mobile radio systems operating in the 150-174MHz (County VHF) to migrate from 25 kHz to 12.5 kHz thus, reducing the bandwidth size and power of the system.
With the VHF upgrades, the county will increase from one to three fully functioning transmitting sites including the original old landfill tower, the Mebane Fire Department Tower, and the SBA Tower (2611 N. 62). The three transmitter sites will work simultaneously to improve and increase range of service for the north and northeast parts of the county.
As part of the MCA proposal, microwave radios, dishes, antennas, and related equipment will be installed at the three tower sites and at CCom. MCA will also use existing towers and cabling at Mebane FD and the Landfill site. Additionally, the seven old receiver sites (Pleasant Grove, Altamahaw, Elon Water Tower, Eli Whitney, Snow Camp, Old Rescue Base and Mebane FD # 1) will be decommissioned with approximate county savings at $200,000 per year. Each site will also have a back-up generator in case of power failure which will keep VHF running for up to four days. The County will be responsible for the purchase of one generator for the SBA site, whereas Mebane Fire Department and the old county landfill site already have generators in place.
VIPER Towers Project
Cost Estimate: $3,000,000
VIPER Towers Summary:
Expected Borrowing Date: Spring 2023
Construction Start Date: TBD
Estimated Completion Date: Spring 2025
Operating Impact: TBD
The VIPER system communicates concurrently with the VHF System for every EMS and county fire department call and is also the primary back up radio system for all county emergency services.
VIPER radio towers will be used to improve radio signal for emergency communications throughout the County in problem areas of Pleasant Grove, Haw River Valley, and Cane Creek Mountains. Ideally, these new towers will be located on property currently owned by the County or another public entity to reduce project costs. A two-year project timeline considers the time needed to find appropriate sites and produce requests-for-proposals for tower construction.
Central Communications Radio Console Upgrades
Cost Estimate: $1,705,513
CCOM Radio Console Upgrades Summary:
Expected Borrowing Date: TBD
Construction Start Date: TBD
Estimated Completion Date: TBD
Operating Impact: $50,000
Radio system upgrade. Emergency calls will be prioritized to get through no matter how busy the network is. Audio quality will be increased despite increased traffic loads.
Increasing from Motorola Command and Control 5500 upgrade to Motorola Command and Control 7500.
Includes software and hardware (consoles, computer screens, etc.).
Some elements of this project may be eligible for E-911 funding.