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November 26. 2012 10:34PM

Nashua aldermen to consider upgrades to city radio system

NASHUA - A proposal to spend up to $1.6 million for upgrades to the citywide radio communications system will be introduced to aldermen today for its first reading.

A maximum bond of $1.6 million is being sought for the first phase of a major radio communications project that could ultimately cost $5 million to $10 million over the next five or six years.

The radio systems are about 12 years old, according to Alderman Brian McCarthy, the board president, who said their life expectancy is a decade.

"Many of the radios are not manufactured anymore, and we can't even get parts for them," he said.

There are nearly 1,000 radios, including hand-held radios and automobile-installed radios, currently being used by various city departments such as police, fire, public works, schools and more. McCarthy said the police department recently replaced 65 emergency radios with assistance from a grant. Still, he said the infrastructure that operates the radios needs to be updated at the transmitter locations - on Shakespeare Road, the Four Hills Landfill, Kessler Farm and the fire and police departments.

McCarthy filed a proposal, along with board vice president Lori Wilshire asking that aldermen approve the $1.6 million bond for the first phase of work.

"We don't know exactly how much it will be yet," McCarthy said of the price-tag for all of the infrastructure improvements.

McCarthy said Motorola has offered the city an attractive offer on some of the infrastructure components if a deal can be closed by the end of the year.

The board of aldermen will have its first reading of the proposed resolution today, and the matter will then be forwarded to the aldermanic Finance Committee.

It is estimated the total cost of the bond over five years would be $1,672,000, including interest. That would result in an average annual payment of about $334,400 beginning next year.

khoughton@newstote.com


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