County council wants numbers on SD&G radio and paging system

SD&G IT Director Michel St-Onge and South Glengarry Fire Chief Dave Robertson make a presentation to county council on Monday, April 15, 2019 on a county-wide radio and paging system. Also in the back row of the gallery are, from left, South Dundas Fire Chief Cameron Morehouse, North Stormont Fire Chief Dan Gauvin and South Stormont Fire Chief Gilles Crepeau. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

SD&G – While county councillors generally like what they hear about an SD&G radio and paging system, they want a better idea of the cost as well as a cost-benefit analysis before making a commitment.

South Glengarry Fire Chief Dave Robertson is the figurehead for radio and paging network proposal. Fire chiefs from South Dundas, South Stormont and North Stormont were in the gallery supporting Robertson’s presentation this morning (Monday).

As Cornwall Newswatch first told you last month, the proposed comprehensive SD&G radio station would handle fire departments, public works departments and transit on one system.

It would work on a seven tower system with the main tower site in Newington, sending signals to the other six towers.

Robertson told county council every township is running on a separate radio system of “different vintages” and some are “very old” and in “imminent need” of repair. South Glengarry is one of those systems where Robertson has said before there are “stability” problems with radio transmissions. A report to council details “service blackouts hampering the ability to communicate and respond to incidents.”

There has been no cost-benefit analysis done on the proposed SD&G radio and paging system at this point, something many county councillors want.

While open to the idea, Coun. Tony Fraser (North Dundas) said he wanted to see numbers on cost but felt the system was “not 100 per cent necessary”…at least in his municipality. “We are not suffering.”

“The efficiencies need to be supported by the numbers,” Coun. Jim Wert (North Stormont) added.

North Glengarry is already buying a new radio system, leading Coun. Carma Williams (North Glengarry) to wonder whether their new equipment would work with an SD&G system. It would, Director of IT Services Michel St-Onge explained.

The working group on the radio system will come back to council at a later date with those numbers.

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