County Commissioners approve GCSO radio purchase through ARPA funds

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The Gray County Commissioners approved for Gray County Sheriff’s Office to purchase new radios through the American Rescue Plan Act on Wednesday morning.

Chief Deputy J.C. Skinner said the request was for 10 hand-held and nine in-car radios.

“I bought four hand-held and five in-car radios (put in new vehicles) out of the budget this year,” Skinner said. “I’m just wanting to replace the ones that aren’t new.”

County Judge Chris Porter noted the criticism toward the law enforcement response and lack of communication during the Uvalde school shooting last month, asking if it was difficult to communicate with Pampa Police Department and Texas DPS.

“About 95 percent of our communications is compatible with whoever we need to communicate with,” Skinner said.

Skinner noted the radios GCSO would be replacing are just older with issues on reception, durability and battery life.

Texas DPS Sgt. Chris Ray said Potter-Randall County has a “trunking system” for their emergency communication, and somewhere down the line (anywhere from one to five years) Gray County could have one.

“The trunking system is coming whether it’s one year, three years or five years,” Sgt. Ray said. “A trunking system is more reliable and will let you pin-point where somebody is.”

Porter noted that Hutchinson County had a trunking system put in recently with some grant help, and Gray County has received a presentation of installing one to the tune of $5.2 million.

“Until the State is going to help us do this, we’re not going to go out on our own and do this,” Porter said.

Porter asked if a situation were to happen in Potter, Randall or Hutchinson County, would GCSO be able to communicate if they were called.

“Yes,” Skinner said. “My patrol vehicle has one of the new radios and I worked in Perryton two or three weeks ago and I was able to communicate just fine with my in-car radio.”

Gray County has one radio repeater north of Pampa, but the hope is when the broadband infrastructure is completed, additional repeaters can be placed on the towers.

Porter said he feels like the Uvalde shooting will be the impetus to a lot of change.

“I think Uvalde will be the impetus for a lot of things we are going to see through law enforcement, our schools,” Porter said. “I think our schools are going to see a change in security and how they do things. I’m seeing this reading the crystal ball as to how this is happening. These radios are just for us to get ahead of the game.”

Commissioner Logan Hudson asked if a new radio came with new vehicles, to which Skinner replied that this year GCSO started putting new radios in the new cars. Before, they would transfer the older radios over.

Later in the meeting, the Commissioners chose not to extend the burn ban, letting the item die for lack of a motion.

The following items were also approved:

• Minutes of the previous meeting.

• Pay Bills as Approved by the County Auditor

• Line-Item Transfers

• County Treasurer’s Monthly Report

• County Clerk’s Report

• Receive $350 Donation for County Road I Fire

• Perry Lefors Airport RAMP Grant M2204Pamp Amendment. The amendment increased the amount of the 50-50 matching grant from $50,000 to $100,000 on the airport’s seal coat project.

• Bids for Delinquent Property from the Tax Assessor and Collector’s Office

- Property Address: 3 12 Miami

Legal Description: Lot 21 Blk 2 Littleton

Taxes Due: 2,651

Appraisal Value: I ,450

Name of Bidder: Diana Castillo Roj as & Enrique Rios Fraire

Amount of Bid: 600.00

- Property Address:

Legal Description: S 23.5 ‘ of Lot 26 Blk I Routson Subdivision

Taxes Due: 293

Appraisal Value: 350

Name of Bidder: Roxana D. Carpio

Amount of Bid: 350.00

- Property Address: 80 I E Craven

Legal Description: Lot 14 Blk I Hayes

Taxes Due: I ,6 1 0

Appraisal Value: I 0,3 I 0

Name of Bidder: Roxana D. Carpio

Amount of Bid: 1,000.00

The commissioners tabled the following items:

• US Forestry Service Contract Buyout for Lake McClellan Service

• Gray County Sub-Division Rules

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