The Vinton County Commissioners met with Vinton County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher Mike Woodruff and Vinton County Emergency Management Director Bill Faught on Tuesday, June 23, to discuss placing the 9-1-1 levy on the November general election ballot.

Not only did the commissioners agree to place the three-tenths-mill five-year levy on the ballot as a replacement issue, but they also discussed the important issue of replacing equipment. The equipment is five years old and there have been many technological upgrades since it was purchased.

 Woodruff noted the equipment needs to be replaced, but some more affordable options have come on the market. One of the options they are looking at is a system the Kenwood Company is offering. The company has an office in Winfield, West Virginia, and has a contract with the West Virginia State Police and the Kanawha County West Virginia Sheriff’s Office.

 Woodruff says the Kenwood radios are much cheaper than the Motorola models and are considered to be very reliable. The company wants to expand into the Ohio market and its radio can be programmed so the Multi-Agency Radio Communications System, (MARCS) capabilities can be added via a software package. The MARCS system is used statewide and their website states, “It provides statewide interoperability in digital clarity to its subscribers throughout Ohio and a 10-mile radius outside of Ohio.”  

Commissioner Tim Eberts also stated some, or all, of the repeaters may be replaced. The commissioners also pointed out the 9-1-1 replacement levy adds no new millage and that the system is essential to the public.

The commissioners agreed to take the necessary steps to place the issue on the Nov. 3 ballot and county officials hope the electorate will support it.