Orwigsburg council approves Two way radio purchase for communications system update 

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The borough council approved the purchase of six radios to use with the recent emergency communications system updates to the police department at a cost of $27,000 at its Wednesday meeting.

Under new federal regulations, the county’s emergency management communications network must be converted to a narrowband frequency to make it more efficient. The county is in the process of complying with Federal Communications Commission-required upgrades to emergency communications.

The borough ordered six Motorola APX6000 radios from Green’s Communications, Pottsville, on Friday. Three 2 Way Radios will be placed in the cars and three are for officers to carry.

The radios could take four weeks to arrive, borough Manager Mike Lonergan said.

In other news, the council also voted to approve a proposal by the Exeter Ambulance Association, Berks County, for two Automated External Defibrillators.

The cost for the AEDs is $4,200. They will replace one for the police department that is at least 10 years old, Lonergan said.

Also at the meeting, Lonergan said he will apply for a $40,000 grant through the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for new playground equipment at Community Memorial Hall, mulch and other park maintenance.

The playground equipment that is in good shape, such as the jungle gym, merry-go-round and seesaw, would not need to be replaced. However, the swing set is about 20 years old and could be removed or relocated to another park in the borough, Lonergan said.

The deadline to apply for the grant is Wednesday, and the borough could know by the fall if the grant is awarded. A $20,000 match by the borough would be required and would be paid through by funds designated for recreation use.

In other council action, approval was granted for Lonergan to prepare a final agreement between the borough and Schuylkill County Municipal Authority for the supplemental operation and maintenance services for the borough water and wastewater systems after review by the borough solicitor Frank Tamulonis and an engineer from SCMA.

The cost to the borough for the service is $1,850 per month and would likely start this month. The borough previously gave approval to execute a memorandum of understanding with the authority to provide the aforementioned support.

The council also authorized Tamulonis to advertise an ordinance for declarations of taking or using eminent domain to obtain easements for the safe routes to schools project if necessary. The project would involve curbs and sidewalks from downtown Market Street to Blue Mountain Elementary East along Red Dale Road for a total of about 1,200 feet, Lonergan said.

The borough was awarded a $303,000 grant in 2009 through the Safe Routes to Schools Program through the state Department of Transportation.

“We do not anticipate the ordinance being necessary,” Lonergan said. However, if it is, the borough would compensate property owners.

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