PAOLA — Miami County commissioners approved issuing $6 million in general obligation bonds to help pay for a new 800 megahertz radio system at their Wednesday, Nov. 20, meeting.
The remaining $2.5 million of the roughly $8.5 million project would be covered by the county through a combination of cash reserves, a state 911 grant and other county resources.
On Wednesday, commissioners endorsed a proposal by the county’s financial advisor Greg Vahrenberg, with Raymond James Public Finance, to issue $6 million in general obligation bonds with a repayment period of 12 years. Vahrenberg said the bond sale will be slated for the morning of Dec. 11, at which time the interest rate would be locked in, with the commission’s approval of the sale that afternoon.
Vahrenberg told commissioners at their Nov. 6 study session that when looking at all financing options, general obligation bonds offered the lowest borrowing cost for the project. He estimated the locked-in interest rate would be in the range of 1 ¾ to 2 percent.
Commissioners voted 5-0 on Oct. 30 to purchase an 800 megahertz radio system from Motorola to replace a dysfunctional VHF radio system that had become a constant source of problems for dispatchers and first responders across the county, particularly in Louisburg and that general region.
After approving the bond sale, commissioners complimented Vahrenberg, County Administrator Shane Krull, Finance Director Steve Lyman and other county staff for their work on the project.
“This is a project that has been studied for a long time in Miami County,” Commissioner Rob Roberts said after the commission approved the bond sale. “I don’t think there’s a first responder anywhere in the county that’s not looking forward to having this project completed.
“This fulfills our entire infrastructure for a new radio system for every law enforcement agency, fire department, EMS and even some for public works,” Roberts said. “It puts up the towers, the dispatch equipment for our dispatchers, and a mobile and handheld radio for every law enforcement person in the county. They will all be on the same basic system, where they can all communicate to each other.”