ARCS approves measures for dissolution
by Shane Dunaway
The Alabama Regional Communications System Board approved two measures during a special called meeting Tuesday, moving one step closer to the group’s pending dissolution Sept. 30.

According to Talladega City Police Chief Alan Watson, who serves as the board’s chairman, a recent resolution passed by the Calhoun County Commission supporting transfer of the agency’s equipment to the Calhoun County 911 Board and a resolution passed by the Calhoun County 911 Board to receive the equipment prompted the board’s actions.

Board members voted unanimously to amend the ARCS by-laws, adding provisions for dissolution drafted by Jason Odom, the board’s attorney, establishing a plan of distribution and a specific dissolution process to have an orderly transfer of the agency so it is seamless for the users.

“This is the first in the step of actions for you to take in order to, under your own rules, be able to start the dissolution process,” Odom said.

The second measure, a documented statement of intent to dissolve, passed unanimously.

“Once approved, this document will be filed with the probate courts in Talladega and Calhoun counties to give the public and all other individuals notice of what’s going to take place,” Odom said. “So if there are any claims or outstanding charges that need to be wrapped up and dealt with in the plan of distribution, people will have appropriate notice and time to do that.”

Though the dissolution may seem imminent, Watson said it’s not quite a done deal yet since the Talladega County Commission still has to sign off on the arrangement. Watson anticipates the oversight committee in Talladega County will have a plan ready to present to the Commission by their meeting June 24.

During the meeting, Watson recommended scheduling a work session between the board, representatives from Motorola and McCord Communications to determine whether a comparator issue within the towers is resulting in failed warning siren tests for some of the towers.

Kevin Jenkins, an administrator for the board, said attempts to troubleshoot the issue remotely have failed, but the issue was not impacting users of the 800 megahertz radio system and the push-to-talk features.

The estimated cost for repair given to the board by McCord Communications totaled more than $5,000.

The meeting request came from board members Mike Fincher and Melonie Carmichael, who both seemed reluctant to approve paying the cost to fix the issue if it would not necessarily guarantee the technical problem would be resolved.

Watson recounted conversations with McCord representatives where he specifically asked them if it was a siren component or a radio component causing the issue and he said the answer he received was the latter.

“It’s important enough to both counties that I think we shouldn’t just sit here and wait, especially with tornado season coming up soon,” Watson said. “If the issue ends up being our responsibility, then we’ll do whatever it takes to resolve the issue.”

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