Black Hawk County Radio System Set to go Silent

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By Rachel Begle

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Officials in Black Hawk County are scrambling to come up with an estimated $14 million needed to replace an outdated emergency radio communications system slated to go silent in three years.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports (http://bit.ly/1bRgznM) that Black Hawk County officials suggest each city could pay its share of the cost based on its population. But city officials in Waterloo and Cedar Falls want the county budget to cover the cost, arguing that the cities pay county taxes for such services.

The current analog radio system supporting public safety, fire, emergency medical services and other agencies was installed in 1995 and operates in the basement of the county jail. RACOM, which owns the equipment, has digitized and will not support the analog system after 2016.

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