TACN selected as new communications provider for Carter County
Published 10:05 pm Friday, May 6, 2022
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The Carter County Commission named Tennessee Advanced Communications Network as the provider for the new communications project on Friday.
The commission voted unanimously to select TACN after all 11 users of the radio communications network endorsed the company.
“I have taken this very seriously and it’s been very stressful,” said EMA Director Billy Harrell. “We want to go forward with the state provider.”
TACN representative Scott Tidwell told the commission prior to the decision being made that the group had a huge footprint in Tennessee with a system implemented by people that live in Tennessee. He also highlighted the fact there are three technicians who live in the Tri-Cities area who would be available to help new Communications Director Mark Ridings.
“We have done a lot of these projects,” said Tidwell. “We will set you up for the next 20 years where you can talk with all the cities around you which is huge. We want to maximize resources and if chosen, we will sit down with each agency to see what their specific needs are.”
Ridings was asked his recommendation and he also supported TCAN.
District 4 Commissioner Isaiah Grindstaff made the motion to reject the proposal from Communications International and the motion was seconded by Sonja Culler. The vote was 20-0 in favor of the motion with one abstention. Commissioners Charles Von Cannon, Mike Miller, and Daniel McInturff were not present. Aaron Frazier abstained due to working on the project and not wanting to show any partiality to the group chosen.
The project is estimated to cost $3.7 million, not including a new tower in Roan Mountain. “We understand there is another tower needed in Roan Mountain,” Harrell said. “If we go with TACN system, there needs to be a constant money flow going forward.”
District 6 Commissioner Gary Bailey made the motion to move forward and request Motorola to come back with a final cost preferably before the next Health and Welfare Committee finalizes its ARP funding project priorities. The commission again voted 20-0 in favor with one abstention.
That meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 7.