We’ve heard that some believe Lapeer County was “sold a bill of goods” regarding our current radio system. This is simply not true. When our current system was built in 1996-97, it was the best type of system available at the time, just as Microsoft Windows 95 was the best operating system available at the time. The system was designed and proposed to deliver adequate radio and pager coverage for the whole county. Five tower sites were to be built to achieve this. However, due to budget constraints and the desire to keep the overall system cost down, two towers were cut from the design. With three towers, coverage was satisfactory in most parts of the county, but left certain areas lacking in coverage.

The County wasn’t sold a system that couldn’t deliver what was promised, but made a conscience decision to save tax dollars while providing an adequate level of coverage overall. As the years went by it was clearly apparent that the cost saving measure sacrificed too much of the quality of the system.

This lack of quality is set to be corrected with a replacement system by adding the necessary tower sites in the proper locations to provide the proper and acceptable level of coverage to all areas of the county. This is the second major reason for a need to replace the current system. The first reason being it is beyond its anticipated life expectancy and a major breakdown could occur without the parts-support the manufacturer has provided for many years.

It is not prudent to expect a company to support any particular product they make forever. Is anyone still using an old analog bag phone as their cellular phone? If there is, do you expect the phone manufacturer to support it with parts and upgrades? How many companies are using Model T’s to support their company operations today? If so, how easy is it to find parts to repair it when it does break down? How much are those parts going to cost compared to parts for a more contemporary vehicle?