Clayton County receives communications money

By Pat McTaggart

Freelance Journalist

Clayton County Emergency Management Agency’s Joel Biggs has announced that the county has received a $279,208 Assistance to Firefighters grant from the federal government.  

“The grant will be used to improve the radio system in Garnavillo,” he said.  “There will also be $10,368 in local funds dedicated to the project.”

Due to terrain and building construction throughout the county, the county’s emergency responders had always experienced impeded paging and other communications problems that negatively impacts the delivery of response failures services.  The system upgrade for the Garnavillo tower will include a simulcast paging transmitter and two simulcast repeaters, a microwave link and antennas. 

“Clayton County has an estimated annual use of 170,000 calls for its communications system for incident critical information and routine non-emergency information exchange,” Biggs said.  “We have a tower in Monona covering the northern part of the county that provides key information and one in Strawberry Point for the southern part.  The upgrade for the tower in Garnavillo will cover the central part of the county, providing emergency responders better communication access and system redundancy.  We hope to have it operational by the end of this year.”

Biggs also said the county has received $100,000 from the Wireless E911 Emergency Communications Carryover Fund, which will be used to update the county’s 20-year-old E911 system. The entire project is estimated to cost $162,687, with the additional funding coming from local wireless surcharge funds.

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