Gloucester agrees to finance radio system update

The Gloucester County Board of Supervisors has agreed to finance the total $10.5 million cost of upgrades needed for the regional public safety radio system it owns with York and James City counties.

Gloucester County had planned to pay its $1.17 million share of the project over the next 4 years with cash on hand in its capital budget. However, the three counties were able to work out a deal with Motorola to reduce the overall cost by agreeing to bundle the 4-years' worth of work into one purchase. That meant financing the cost through a lease purchase agreement.

According to Garrey Curry, Gloucester's assistant county administrator, that option saves the county money now and in the long run, even though Gloucester would be paying interest on the deal.

Curry said the agreement would require a $300,000 down payment in fiscal year 2017, followed by four annual payments of $191,813.

Even after adding in interest on the lease purchase agreement, Gloucester's total spending over the life of the agreement would be $106,432 less than the original price tag.

Curry said the upgrades will replace outdated versions of the system's software and hardware. The actual radios used by emergency personnel will not be replaced, but Gloucester's dispatchers will receive new consoles.

Board Chairman John Meyer said after Tuesday’s approval of the financing that he appreciated the administrative staff’s ability to “find areas money can be saved.”

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