CLARKESVILLE - The Habersham County Commission voted Monday night to proceed with the purchase and installation of a radio booster system in the new county judicial center.
The radio system will cost $62,751.62, and the funds will come out of the retainage of the judicial center construction contract, Commission Chairman Chad Henderson said.
The new judicial center came in roughly $770,000 below the guaranteed maximum price, county officials said.
The radio booster system being purchased now originally was included in the plans, but was omitted during the construction process.
"At present, there is no radio communications capability, on any floor, in the detention areas of the courthouse," a memo from Sheriff Joey Terrell to commissioners states. "If an incident were to occur in the detention area, the deputy does not have the capability to use his radio to call for assistance. Their only lifeline is, hopefully, the person in the control room or the deputy at the security desk will see the incident on video and send assistance."
Additionally, Terrell's memo states there are limited radio signals in some courtrooms.
The radio system is being purchased from Mobile Communications.
Another lower quote for the equipment was received, but Terrell said when pressed by Habersham County E-9-1-1 Director Lynn Smith about compatibility with the county's Motorola Mototrbo system, that company withdrew its bid.
The commission, however, did not act on a request for additional security cameras not originally included in the plans for the judicial center. That request is pending additional price quotes, and will be brought back to the commission in 2014.
Asked by Commissioner Sonny James how long it will take for the radio system to be in place, Terrell said probably around 60 days because the vendor will have to order the equipment.
Terrell is hopeful the system will be installed before the high-profile trials expected in early 2014.