A two-year project to modernize Pasco County’s radio communications system is under way, with a series of neighborhood meetings about the installation of seven new communications towers.
The first meeting was in Hudson about two weeks ago. Five more have been held, including one on Aug. 8 at the Pasco County Historic County Courthouse in Dade City.
A half-dozen residents met with county officials to discuss the proposed 300-foot communications tower at Powerline and Christian roads.
They requested that the tower be moved closer to U.S. 301.
Trilby resident Richard Riley, who attended the meeting, said county officials were receptive to the idea.
A public hearing on the Dade City tower likely will be scheduled in November, said Todd Bayley, the county’s chief information officer.
The tower in Dade City, and six others, will serve public safety agencies, including the county’s sheriff’s office, fire/rescue department and emergency management.
The towers also will aid overall in communications between all county agencies.
With the additional towers, the radio communications network will have a total of 10 sites serving the entire county.
The current network of three towers is an outdated analog-based system that is about 26 years old.
During the past year, area residents have complained about the frequency of dropped 911 calls.
“We have coverage issues,” Bayley said.
The new digital communications system, when completed, will provide coverage to 100 percent of the county, he said.
Pasco County commissioners approved a contract with Williams Communications for the approximately $14.2 million project. Funding is from the Penny for Pasco program.
Completion is scheduled for July 2018.
Published August 17, 2016