October 24, 2014

Cooperative 911 phone system off the table for this year

Counties denied grant for system

9/27/13

OGEMAW COUNTY — Plans to purchase an internet phone system for 911 emergency services within Arenac, Gladwin Iosco and Ogemaw counties have stalled, at least for this year, as the counties were recently denied grant funding for the project.

Ogemaw County Emergency Management Director Carol Adair told commissioners at their Sept. 26 regular meeting.

“The counties that applied for the competitive grant assistance program through the Department of Treasury — we were asking for the interoperational phone system — we were denied for the grant,” Adair told the board. “We will not be getting our interoperational phone system this year.”

The inter-county phone system would allow the four counties to share the cost of the system, and because it is internet-based, would allow them to receive text messages as well. All four counties would still operate independently, only sharing the phone system.

Adair said previously that the entire Upper Peninsula recently switched to a single phone system that serves all of its counties.

Adair said she wasn’t sure who did receive the grant money. However, she said the counties thought they had a good chance at it.

“Bob Ray, the director for Iosco County, did receive a couple of phone calls from the treasury department asking questions and clarifying things, so we thought it was promising,” she told the board.

However, she said, the group received a letter Sept. 24 saying it was not selected.

Adair said plans are to apply for the grant again next year.

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