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August 13. 2014 9:53PM

Pelham selectmen support new dispatch console in budget

PELHAM — Selectmen are supporting a three-year lease of a new radio console system for the town’s dispatch center in the 2015 budget.

The new console has an estimated cost of $110,000 and would replace the current dispatch console, which is outdated and has had mechanical issues over the past several years, according to Police Chief Joseph Roark.

Roark identified the radio console as the number one capital priority for the coming year’s budget.

“Last year, we talked about the radio console in dispatch and how it is reaching the end of its lifespan,” said Roark. “We’re having some repair issues with it and the parts aren’t being supported anymore. We’ve been told by Motorola and our service provider that by 2018 they are just not going to support our dispatch console anymore.”The radio console handles all the town’s police, fire and emergency medical calls, according to Roark.

“If it fits into the total of the town budget, I would love to see this done sooner rather than later,” the chief said.Selectman Harold Lynde asked Roark if he thought the current console would remain operational for the next three years. Roark said he did not believe it would.

Selectmen Chairman Edmund Gleason said he supported putting the console replacement in the 2015 budget.“I don’t want to wait until disaster happens and then have to find the money to do it,” Gleason said. “I’d rather anticipate the problems and address it. It is well worth it to maintain the level of service, because if this thing goes down, we are going to be in deep trouble.”

Roark said the board could support either buying the new console outright for $110,000, or entering into a lease of three to five years. The chief said he expected a new console would have a total lifespan of at least a decade.

The board requested that Roark enter the radio console into the police department budget as a three-year lease.Selectman William McDevitt supported the lease arrangement.

“The consequences of failure are overwhelming and we will be held accountable by the public,” he said.

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