Radio system OK’d

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission on Thursday approved the purchase of a back-up interoperable radio system for the Upshur County Communications Center.

The system will be used to monitor county fire departments as well as large events like the West Virginia Strawberry Festival.

In a Nov. 20 letter to the commission, Steve Linger, the director of the E-911 Communications Center, asked for the commission’s approval to purchase a back-up interoperable radio system for $18,650.47 from Lloyds Electronics in Jane Lew.

Linger’s letter indicates that several county fire departments have recently obtained interoperable, or IRP, radios, and that as part of the West Virginia Statewide Interoperable Radio Network, the Comm Center needs a radio to monitor those departments.

Linger also requested the commission’s approval to purchase another radio and antenna to monitor state emergency preparation exercises and large events such as the Strawberry Festival. The radio that had previously been used for that purpose is now being used to monitor the activity of the Upshur County EMS.

The commission had been set to vote on the matter at its Dec. 5 meeting; however, Commission President Donnie Tenney asked to defer the matter until its meeting Thursday to give County Administrator Megan Pomeroy time to investigate whether the county has enough money in its 911 fund to cover the cost of the purchase.

“These are IRP radios that they need,” Pomeroy told the commission at its Dec. 5 meeting. “Steve (Linger) had indicated that they also have some repair work that needs to be done. They always have a spare console on hand, but they’ve had to use that spare console so now they don’t have a backup so they’d like to replace that backup with another.”

The total cost of adding the interoperable radio systems and repairing one of the Comm Center’s consoles is $23,905.77; that amount includes a quote of $5,255.30 from Motorola Solutions.

“If it’s going to come out of our general revenue fund and then we’ll have to be reimbursed by the 911 fund, then that’s just something I think we need to be aware of,” Tenney said at last week’s meeting.

However, at Thursday’s meeting Pomeroy reported there was “plenty of money” in the 911 fund – about $145,000 – to cover the purchase of the IRP radio systems and console repair.

Commissioner Troy Brady made a motion to approve the purchase, which was seconded by Commissioner JC Raffety before passing unanimously.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, Chief Tax Deputy Shelia Adams presented the final disposition list of all real estate taxes returned delinquent for the 2012 tax year. Since the initial presentation of the properties in May 2013, she reported that $334,265.60 in taxes have been paid.

Suspensions to the state of West Virginia totaled $7,542.76. Only 64 real estate tickets went to the sheriff’s annual tax lien sale. Of those 64, three had tax liens that were sold to the state and 61 had tax liens that were sold to individuals.

Adams reminded delinquent taxpayers that these taxes can still be redeemed through the state for up to 18 months.

“The sooner the better, as the longer you wait the higher the costs become,” she said. Adams also said the cost of redeeming a property is not what the purchaser paid. The redeemer, or taxpayer, is only required to pay the cost of taxes, interest and fees due – not any surplus that the purchaser may have paid at the time of sale.

Any landowner wishing to redeem their property during the eligible redemption period may do so by contacting the Land Division of the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office at 1-888-509-6568.

Contact Katie Kuba by email at Follow her on Twitter at IMT_Kuba.