Athens County Commissioners to apply for 911 funding

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An application will be filed for a $500,000 interest-free state loan to help upgrade communications between Athens County’s 911 towers, the county commissioners decided Tuesday.

However, the commissioners decided to have the application prepared by the county planner, rather that pay the $12,000 fee requested by a consultant, according to The Athens Messenger.

Dan Pfeiffer, 911 director, had proposed applying for the loan from the Ohio Local Government Innovation Fund. Payments on the loan would come from 911’s budget.

The project would involve linking the county’s eight 911 towers with microwave communications. Currently, phone lines and radio communication are used.

Pfeiffer has previously said microwave communication would be faster, more reliable and of better quality. He also said that potentially there could be other users of the system, including Internet providers who could use it to provide broadband Internet to underserved areas of the county.

An earlier estimated price tag was $901,000 for the project, but Pfeiffer told the Messenger that a system with fewer extras would cost in the neighborhood of $750,000.