Supervisors Debate Radio System Ownership

by Charlie Comfort

Oskaloosa, Iowa- Mahaska County Supervisor Vice Chairman Mark Groenendyk continued to question ownership of Mahaska County’s emergency personnel radio system, at Tuesday’s regular supervisors meeting. The questions raised by Groenendyk were also questions that he had brought up at the previous EMA commission meeting. At Tuesday’s meeting, Groenendyk continued to assert his claim that the county owns the radio system, as opposed to the Mahaska County EMA commission.

As he had stated at the previous EMA commission meeting, Groenendyk stated that his assertation came from a meeting and research with county attorney Jim Blomgren. Groenedyk also said that at Blomgren’s recommendation, he would like to see a consultant hired to review the work of the consultants hired to prepare the RFP for the radio system. The RFP is already set to be reviewed by Jeff Stone from Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman PLC, who has been contracted by the EMA commission.

The supervisors also discussed the bidding process for the project with EMA/911 Director Jamey Robinson, and Mahaska County Sheriff Russ Van Renterghem. Robinson stressed that the importance of the RFP is that the EMA commission is then dictating to potential bidders what needs to be done, not the bidders telling the EMA commission what they feel needs to be done, placing the users of the system in control of what gets done for the project. Robinson also stressed that Motorola and Raycom, who are expected to be two major bidders in this project, can build on each other’s systems, rendering the debate over whether or not the EMA commission prefers one bidder over the other essentially null and void. The RFP also states that consideration must be taken into both systems by the bidders, especially if there is a potential cost saving to the EMA commission.

The debate over a new radio system for Mahaska County’s first responders has been an ongoing battle between Supervisor Mark Groenendyk, who is the county’s representative on the EMA commission, and the rest of the EMA commission as a whole, with both sides getting into heated disagreements over ownership of the new system, as well as which company the EMA commission will contract with.

In other business, the Supervisors:

Received a report from Conservation Director Dave Sedivec.

Reviewed a proposal for clocktower upgrades and repairs.

Discussed an amendment to the South Central Behavior Health Region 28E Agreement.

The next regular meeting of the Mahaska County Supervisors will be held on February 5 at 9 am in the Supervisors chambers.

Posted by on Jan 17 2018. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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