Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Milton approves NF radio manager.

Courtesy by Will Houp; The Milton Herald

June 10, 2013

MILTON, Ga. – Milton became the last of four North Fulton cities to approve the next step toward a $16 million region-wide radio net. Councilmembers voted unanimously last Monday to sign on Commdex Consulting to lead the cities from plan design to launching the new public safety radio system.

Commdex was chosen through Sandy Springs' evaluations and met all of the city's qualifications. Three different committees were set up to evaluate Commdex and the other bidder.

"Commdex was the highest qualified and the lowest bidder," said Milton City Manager Chris Lagerbloom. "Having the most qualified to be the lowest bidder seemed to be a fairly straightforward decision."

The contract between Commdex and the four cities will be about $200,000. Milton is responsible for 15 percent, or about $30,000.

Commdex is headquartered in Norcross.

The system is planned to go online July 1. It will provide linked coverage over the four cities and dip some into surrounding Cobb, Gwinnett and Forsyth counties in case of joint emergencies.

This four-city union has been in the works for about two years. The ailing Fulton County radio system is antiquated and has poor reception in parts of North Fulton, especially Milton. It is also projected to fail the Federal Communications Commission's 2014 regulations.

The new North Fulton radio net was unveiled to the public in January as Milton, Roswell, Alpharetta and Sandy Springs pressed forward with their system independent from Fulton. Sandy Springs spearheaded the project and has taken on the monthly billing of the system. The other three cities pay monthly fees and will construct cell towers to carry the system.

Fulton County started working on a new system earlier in the year as well.

At one point, Johns Creek had been a part of the North Fulton intergovernmental operating agreement. But their council brought up initial concerns about selecting Motorola without any other bidders. Johns Creek dropped out mid-January after more concerns that Johns Creek taxpayers could potentially be funding two new systems — Fulton County's and North Fulton's. The only impact of the resignation has been an increase in cost for Milton, Alpharetta, Roswell and Sandy Springs, who have pressed ahead with the project.

Motorola has a state contract with Georgia for radio services and products. The four cities are buying radios using the already negotiated prices from that contract.


*Two residents were placed on Milton commissions at the June 3 council meeting.

Abbe Laboda was unanimously appointed to the Historic Preservation Commission of Milton as a board member at large.

Terry Herr was also unanimously appointed to Milton's Planning Commission for District 2.

The Historic Preservation Commission formed in July 2010. The commission's mission is to enrich the present and future by preserving the past, according to the city of Milton's website. It does this by preserving buildings, places and districts of historic interest within Milton.

There are seven members on the commission — each appointed by a councilmember and the mayor. Regular meetings are held every fourth Monday of each month.

The Planning Commission is an advisory board and seeks to reevaluate subdivision regulations, zoning laws and zoning maps where appropriate in Milton. The commission reports to the Milton City Council. It is comprised of seven members all appointed by council and the mayor. Regular meetings are held every fourth Tuesday of each month.

*Council also unanimously approved an alcohol license for Grand Champion BBQ on 12635 Crabapple Road. Grand Champion opened in July 2011. There is a second Grand Champion located in Roswell on Shallowford Road.

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