- Associated Press - Friday, July 29, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The city of Lincoln will save more than $570,000 through an agreement to share emergency radio system assets with the state.

Public safety director Tom Casady told the Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/2aDqdA1 ) that the city will operate its new 911 radio system using the Nebraska computer core and will be able to use the statewide radio system for communication, which will be particularly helpful in rural parts of the county.

Through the agreement, the state will be allowed to use Lincoln’s new radio system, which offers better communication service inside the urban area.

“It says we are going to work together; we are going to share our stuff and each of us will take care of our own infrastructure,” Casady told the group overseeing spending of a quarter-cent sales tax hike for a new emergency radio system and fire stations.

The city is looking at locations and design for three fire stations and a co-located police and fire station that’ll be built with the tax’s revenue. The city will likely have to buy commercially zoned land, which generally costs twice as much as residential land.

Casady said construction costs are also likely to be higher than originally planned.

“Staff are now estimating construction costs for the stations at $250 a square foot,” he said. “We had expected more like $180 per square foot.”

But Casady said Lincoln will save money now and in the future since it won’t have to buy the core or pay for maintenance in five to 10 years.

The city and state won’t exchange any money in the arrangement.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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