Tuesday morning, 3 On Your Side talked to Hinds County Emergency Operations Director Mark Young regarding the radio communications tower on F.O.A. Road near Pocahontas. The tower has been operating on secondary power since November 3.
Young says the broken piece of equipment is now on the workbench in Atlanta, Georgia. He is hopeful that the part will be operable and back in place by the end of the week.
As we reported last week, the Clinton Police Department has been getting some scratchy radio signals since the tower has been operating on auxiliary, or secondary, power.
A company called Airwave holds the multi-million dollar contract to maintain the towers. A company called Northstar Wireless works alongside Airwave, and Northstar President Nathan Hargrove often speaks on behalf of both companies during Board of Supervisors meetings.
Young met with Stacy Stowers of Airwave, and Hargrove of Northstar Wireless, last week. He gave them a letter containing a list of standard operating procedures to follow to avoid a similar situation in the future.
In the letter, Young states he wants the companies to provide a monthly report of the assessments they do. He also wants six meetings per year between the companies and emergency operations, and an equipment sheet detailing the antiquated machinery they're working with.
"Mr. Hargrove and Mr. Stowers did reiterate to me that the part was antiquated. When you have a 13 or 14 year old system, you need to do an upgrade within a 10 year mark. We are staying prayerful this will be done by the end of the week," Young says.
Supervisor Phil Fisher asked for a monthly report from the two companies as far back as September. During the board meeting on November 19, he stated that he had not yet gotten any written reports.
Stowers responded to Fisher. "Is there a certain format you would like to have it in? I have binders and binders," he stated.
"You can make up whatever format you want. Anything is better than nothing," Fisher responded.
Young says if the tower problem is not fixed soon, it may start affecting the Clinton Fire Department and possibly the Hinds County Sheriff's Department.
"No other agencies have been affected as of right now," Young tells us.
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