CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - It's your money and people living in Charlotte County could be asked to pay ten million dollars in the name of public safety!
The radios that emergency crews use to respond to calls are outdated and in just a few years, they won't work at all!
"Radio communications is our life blood," says Chief Marianne Taylor.
2500 radios across charlotte county help multiple agencies do their jobs. Which is why, public safety leaders want to make sure they're all up to standard.
This radio project is for the school systems, the city of Punta Gorda, and fire and ems of course and emergency management," she adds.
Chief Marianne Taylor with Charlotte County Fire and Rescue says, right now, they're working with an analog radio system. But come 2017, that will no longer be supported by the manufacturer. She says that means, about 9-hundred of their radios and consoles need to replaced or upgraded to a digital system.
"Mobile radios that are out in the field and on all the apparatus, the fire trucks the ambulances the staff vehicles, the other county agencies that use handheld radios," she adds.
But the switch could cost up to 10-million dollars. It's why these agencies are hoping, if the county's penny tax is extended, the funds could help foot the bill.
"I think that's money very well spent. I think that would be a relatively painless way, somewhat painless to get the funds that are needed," says Donna Rockett.
"So in order for us to be able to speak to these on a large incident or even day to day incidents where we have mutual aid come in, it's so important that we change to this digital system... this is really a must do project not just a want to project," Chief Taylor adds.