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Board has concerns about public safety radio system

June 27, 2001|By KELLY GRANT, Staff Writer

The Imperial Irrigation District will continue to work with local agencies and officials toward the creation of a countywide public safety radio communication system.

During its meeting Tuesday, the IID Board of Directors decided two of its members and General Manager Jesse Silva should meet with Imperial Valley Emergency Communication Authority representatives to work out some of the project's sticking points, including funding.

IVECA, made up of local public safety, city and county officials, has proposed to share IID's communication resources. A $3 million infrastructure upgrade, however, is required for the project.

Though IVECA officials have agreed to pay monthly or yearly fees to cover their share of capital costs and maintenance to the system, representatives say they are unable to pay for the $3 million upgrade.

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Directors Lloyd Allen and Stella Mendoza said they were not comfortable with giving the money for the infrastructure but would consider loaning IVECA the $3 million.

Board President Andy Horne suggested Mendoza, Director Bruce Kuhn and Silva work with IVECA on this issue and bring a recommendation back to the board.

During the meeting, the board also:

· heard an update on the power department's integrated resource plan and learned that next summer's gas supply has been secured for much lower prices than IID is paying this summer

· heard an update on IID's efficiency study in which IID is in the first of three phases; the study should be completed by Sept. 7

· authorized funding for the remainder of this year to the emergency energy assistance program

· approved upgrading instructional materials for the district's lineman apprenticeship program

· and deferred taking action on a request for $25,000 from the Imperial Valley College Desert Museum Society as society director Jay von Werlhof was not at Tuesday's meeting.

Staff Writer Kelly Grant can be reached at 337-3441.

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