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Johns Creek City Council asks bids on public safety radio net

January 30, 2013
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — After opting out for now of a proposed North Fulton-wide public safety radio system, the Johns Creek City Council has authorized the city manager to offer requests for proposals to some 50 engineering firms.

The council recently rejected an offer to participate in the $16 million radio net proposed by the other four cities of North Fulton, saying it was not properly bid.

City Manager John Kachmar said the city would first assess its needs within the 32-square-mile confines of the city. That is the scope of the request for proposals. Then the city will explore its options to partner with other communities that best meet its needs.

But Kachmar and city officials did admit those choices may well bring them back into the fold with Roswell, Alpharetta, Sandy Springs and Milton, its sister cities in North Fulton that have been working three years on the project.

The next most likely partner would be Fulton County, which is beginning to work on its own $25 million county radio net that would provide proper radio service throughout the county for police, marshals and fire and emergency services personnel.

The current service provided by the county is inconsistent in its "penetration," that is, it has too many dead spots where radio signals are dropped, and a new one is needed.

The North Fulton cities began their quest to have their own network when Fulton County seemed reluctant to solve the problem. Johns Creek was a partner in this, but the City Council voted to pull out over what it saw as irregularities in the way the project has been bid out.

The city's main objection was that the other cities chose Motorola as the radio equipment of choice and did not allow other companies to bid. Johns Creek also objected that the consultant had a relationship as a vendor for Motorola.

The North Fulton cities replied that they are buying the radios using the state contract that has already negotiated its price for Motorola radios. A bid process for its own smaller needs is not likely to produce a better price than the state contract.

Also, Motorola is the radio system used in surrounding jurisdictions. Cobb, Gwinnett and Forsyth already use Motorola, so their radios would be compatible and able to "talk" to each other in joint emergencies, the other cities pointed out.

The North Fulton cities will bid out the engineering services for setting up the radio net soon.

Meanwhile, Kachmar says he expects to get bids back in about two weeks.

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Tags: Government & News & Crime

  1. report print email
    Here's a Great Solution....
    January 30, 2013 | 05:23 PM

    Since it's becoming evident that Johns Creek obviously doesn't want to play well with its North Fulton city bretheren, maybe they should start to partner more with Gwinett County.

    Viva La Founders Day!

    Former JC'er
  2. report print email
    Johns Creek Throw NF Cities Under Bus
    February 01, 2013 | 09:17 AM

    Johns Creek Administration (city manager) has deliberatley walked away from the table with the other BF cities. They have placed a large financial burden on Milton, Sandy Spring, Roswell & Alpharetta. The Public Safety personnel need a radio system that protects them and works as designed. The Mayor & Council should put the City Manager on the street and look for someone that has a level head and understands the "Needs of the Many & Not the Needs of the Few". Shame on you John Kachmyer.......

    Joshua Abraham
    North Fulton
  3. report print email
    I applaud Johns Creek!
    February 01, 2013 | 03:25 PM

    I don't understand other commenters' frustration with Johns Creek. Anyone shopping for an expensive item would check prices at different stores and not fall victim to "buy it now" sales tactics. The council, by bailing out of the rest of north Fulton's rush to buy, simply endorsed the free market by wanting to properly bid out the project. Why is competition a bad thing? Why would these other cities automatically assume that one vendor would be the best and cheapest? As a taxpayer, I'm glad that the city manager and council are thinking before just spending.

    Johns Creek
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