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South Central Montana Interoperability Communications Consortium by trendy3


									South Central Montana Interoperability Communications Consortium
Monthly Meeting June 07, 2006 10:13 am – 11:53 am Present: Frank Ford Jason Shrauger Kerry O‟Connell Peggy Glass Bob Fry Pete Mohan Kevin Dewitt Gary Hindoin Rick Seidlitz Maebeth Seidlitz Max Pangburn

Madison County Gallatin County Sweet Grass County Park County State DES PSSB PSSB State DES Meagher County Meagher County Mountain Communications

The meeting of the SCMIC Governing Board was called to order at 10:13am by Chairman Frank Ford. Rick Seidlitz made a motion to accept the minutes as written, seconded by Kerrie O‟Connell. Motion carried REPORTS Individual County Reports Frank asked for discussion on individual county reports, making note that they were rather sparse. Two written reports were received as follows: Madison County: Improving coverage continues to be the main focus of public safety communications activity within Madison County over the last month. The program for installation of three new repeaters, which has been discussed in previous reports to the consortium, has been slowed by the combined problem of less than adequate capacity with the currently installed, obsolescent dispatch and primary transmitter equipment and the need for any newly installed equipment to be narrow band capable. Nevertheless, we think the objectives of the project are still achievable before next winter, at least on an interim basis. The Board of Commissioners has indicated a willingness to provide a limited amount of financial support from general revenues, which, along with used equipment obtained from other agencies, may be enough to complete this phase of the effort. While the results will not be all we would like them to be and will not achieve the ultimately desirable technological and structural characteristics we would like them to have, they do promise to alleviate a good part of our very severe coverage problems by trading some capability, security and the like for immediate coverage enhancement. This, in turn, will allow considerably more flexibility and responsiveness in our public safety services throughout the county.


Park County: Park County does not have anything new to report this month. The County continues working on the possibility of rebuilding the Meyers Flat Site and moving all of the existing equipment to that location. Frank then asked for verbal updates from the non-reporting counties. Gallatin County: Work mainly associated with new 911 Center project. They are also still working on the Yellowstone Club project and issues surrounding that. The funding status with the 911 Center currently sits with a 60/40 split, $600,000.00 from the City and $400,000.00 (operating costs) from the County. The plan is to go out for a second try to pass a County 911 mill levy. It was previously defeated in September of 2001 by a very narrow margin. Public Safety Mill Levy covers Emergency Management, Hazmat, County Fire, Coroner, Sheriff‟s Office, and the County portion of the 911 budget is included in that. They are hoping to clean that up and get rid of some of the politics. A County wide tax base or mill levy would take care of issues like the city of Belgrade which is one third of the calls for Gallatin County, contributes $10,000 a year for dispatch. A county wide tax base or mill levy would get away from that. Sweet Grass County: Carrie stated their generator had been delivered. Meagher County: The new PSAP is finished. The repeater on Sky Ranch is under construction and the License approved. An old GE repeater will be moved from Porphyry to the site for now pending grant money for a new Quantar. We have submitted applications for the FEMA Fire grant and State Fire grant in hopes of getting one or both to fund the new repeater. We are looking at CTA‟s plan and how we interpret that into a County specific plan, tailored to our needs. A new antennae tower is being built behind the Sheriff‟s Office. The antennas are presently on top of the Sheriff‟s Office and will be moved to the new tower. Meagher County signed an agreement with Park County to allow them to use the Black Butte Repeater. Frank Ford asked for any other comments. Frank stated the Madison County people were excited about the three new repeaters they were hoping to get in this summer. Presently approximately 40-50% of the county is not covered by dispatch. The new repeaters will take care of about 90% of that missing area. Members discussed Title III funds and whether or not Madison County had access to it. Frank asked for any further comments on the status reports. There were none. Chairman Ford then asked Jason for the Project Directors Report. Project Directors Report Jason passed around the minutes from the last Project Directors Meeting. A key motion that was made during the meeting related to band width. There was discussion on the whole system and the need to identify what the band width requirements are for the system. The second key motion was the need to start reviewing site agreements to make sure they are in a standardized format. There were funding discussions, the key being related tp Northern Tier‟s ability to get their work


done. A motion was made and seconded that the technical committee evaluate the requirements for Northern Tier to determine the length of the construction project, and, based upon that evaluation, extend the project construction contract over two years rather than one year. That would extend Northern Tier‟s work from this building season through till the next. Related to that, a motion was made by Ed Auker and passed, that Sheri Lanz request an extension of funding over that two year time period if Northern Tier needed it. Gary Hindoin interjected that is was not Northern Tier, that is was Interoperable Montana, using 06 money. He also said that Northern Tier was all 05 funds. He further stated it was the 06 grant they wanted to extend a year. Jason disagreed saying it was 05 that they were asking to extend. Gary agreed and said that had been done. Continuing with his report, Jason said they had discussed partners on IMPD, bringing Federal and State partners on board. Sheriff Liedle was interested in this. Voting privileges and mutual aid usage will be addressed at the next meeting. The next meeting is in Bozeman. The location will be at the First Security Bank. There should be discussion about the Montana allocation for 06 funding which is about 7.9 million. Jason felt our SCMIC group needed to discuss what our requests were going to be for the next round of funding. Gary Hindoin stated that on June 12th the Grant subcommittee and the senior advisory committee would meet to go over the split out on the 06 grant funds and then make some recommendations to go to the Senior Advisory Committee. The Senior Advisory Committee would then finalize it to take to the Governor for expenditure approval. Gary thought that meeting would be the 22nd of June. Gary offered to go over the break out and Frank asked that we wait and discuss it with the 06 funding portion of the agenda. Frank then asked if Jason if he had a feel for how much of the 05 microwave link construction would get done this year as contrasted to the following building season. Jason stated they had asked Northrup Gruman to come up with a scope of work as to what can be accomplished this year. They were to have had that last IMPD meeting and it did not get done. Mark Adams was given approval to continue under his present contract with writing that scope of work and bring it to the next meeting on June 14th. Jason felt not all of the build-out would get done, hence the request from Northern Tier to extend over two years. Gary Hindoin interjected stating it wasn‟t Northern Tier. Northern Tier‟s construction should be done in November of this year, he said. Jason replied that they said differently at the last Project Directors meeting. Gary restated his assurance that the reason the request for the extension of funds was made was because of all of the 6 or 7 projects that the technical committee had come up with on the expenditure of the 6.7 million of 05 funding for Interoperable Montana and based upon the experiences we‟ve had in Northern Tier with getting MOU‟s, NEPA‟s and all of the site agreements in, it appeared that the schedule was too aggressive to accomplish this year. The request was made to extend the funding for a year so that they had two construction seasons. He went on to say that the technical committee was assigned the task of assessing the 6 sites and coming up with the ones that could be obtained with signed agreements and full access, and could be slated for construction this summer.


Jason Agreed, and further stated that the three sites within our Consortium (Nixon, High Flat, Timberline) plus the 4th, Bull Mountain, which affects our consortium area, will get done this year. Frank asked it there were any other questions on what we had heard so far and there were none. Jason reminded the Chair that we had not asked for introductions from the two new faces at our meetings. Max Pangburn introduced himself as account representative of Mountain Communications, formerly Industrial Communications. They purchased Mountain Communications and Spectrum Communications in Butte and will be running those shops. He will be living in Bozeman. Kevin Dewitt introduced himself. He works with Pete Mohan in Public Safety Services. Frank thanked Jason for his thorough report. Jason then reiterated that Gallatin County is experiencing a dramatic slow down as a result of what has happened with the FY 05 HS funding and contrary to prior expectations. All the counties agreed it definitely has made a difference, and is reflected in the County reports and participation at the Consortium meetings. Frank expressed his opinion that this could be a very grave threat to the success of IM, but that only time will tell. Frank asked Jason if he had anything to report from J.J. on either the SCMIC Technical Committee or the IM Technical Committee. The IM Technical Committee is looking at site issues; looking at encryption and the standards surrounding encryption; and who‟s going to get what sets of numbers and what the standards are going to be. Kerry asked when the state Technical Committee had been meeting and Jason replied that a lot was being done by teleconference and phone conference. Gary interjected that they were meeting the 12th in Helena. Frank asked about our consortium Technical Subcommittee and reminded the members that J.J. and/or Ben Hess was going to bring some proposals to our meeting about ways to consider joint maintenance efforts, either in terms of contracts or other suggestions. Jason reported that J.J. was unable to attend this meeting due to priority commitments, then asked if the Technical Committee was to meet the day before the Project Director‟s meeting. It was confirmed to be on Monday. There were no further reports so the Governing Board moved on to Old Business.


OLD BUSINESS Oversight Committee implementation Frank summarized the status of the Oversight Committee formulation by saying it reflected earlier comments in regards to lessened interest in statewide communications activities at the local level. Frank stated that Madison County interest in the Interoperable Montana Project had gone virtually to zero, along with a considerable reduction in any interest in the consortium itself. He said that they had been struggling to get their interoperable communications improvement effort off the ground even when the enthusiasm was high. Frank continued, questioning what the Oversight Committee is going to oversee. If most of the activity is taking place at the State level (at the IMPD level), then what are our County Commissioners and Legislators who are to be members of this group going to oversee? Frank questioned the validity of continuing with the effort to initiate such a group.. Kerry replied that we needed to go back to why we talked about starting it in the first place. It was to keep our Commissioners and Legislators informed as to what was going on, she stressed, in order for them to make informed contributions for us at their level of government. Frank agreed that one goal was to establish and maintain a support network throughout the state in terms of legislators and MACO, etc. but it was also to oversee what at that time (when we proposed the involvement of an Oversight Committee) looked like a substantial amount of money would be flowing through the Consortium. He felt that an important intent had been to keep our elected officials involved or, at the very least, aware of what we were doing with that vast amount of money. The vast amount of money part is not imminently apparent now, he opined. Kerry further offered that she felt in her mind we didn‟t need an Oversight Committee to do that part, because we would go back on our local level and talk to them face to face in order to inform them as to what was going on. Kerry felt it was more about developing a better political force to assist us in achieving implementation resources. Rick offered that he felt both were the same thing. They are all informed and know what‟s going on and they can talk about it. Jason felt it was up to each of us to talk to our County Commissioners individually and sell them on what we are doing and get them up to speed on what‟s going on with the state wide project. The value of the Oversight committee comes into play, he felt, a little closer to January of ‟07, when the Legislature meets. That‟s when it becomes important for our Legislators to be pushing for state funding opportunities. There is no need at present for such a group, as some of those Legislators will likely change with the upcoming election, he concluded. Frank agreed as it looked as if major changes could take place in the Madison County participants. Jason felt Gallatin County was pretty secure with their representation.


Kerry stated she had full support from her Commission and Legislator. Frank then posed the question, “So what do we want to do?” Jason suggested we put it on hold until OctoberNovember. Kerry questioned how many meetings we needed to have before the Legislative Session. Jason felt it would only take one or two and then as we moved more into the Legislative season, as the issues become apparent, then it could become more active. Bob stated that unless we were proposing legislation, what we needed to know was which legislation to support and be able to inform them. Gary Hindoin said that the state agencies are presently putting together their requests to the Governor for inclusion in the Governor‟s budget, including Highway Patrol, DOT, and PSSB. These are the issues the Oversight Committee needs to be brought in on. Jason made the motion that formation of the SCMIC Oversight Committee be put on hold until October. Rick seconded the motion. Frank then asked for the names of Legislator representatives from Gallatin and Meagher Counties. He went on to propose that we just set a date for the meeting and ask them to please come. Jason replied that his Legislator was Gary Perry. Rick stated that Jamie Doggett was the Commissioner from Meagher County who would be representing them, and that her political contacts would more than make up for Legislator representation. The meeting will likely be set in Gallatin County for its central location. Frank repeated the motion to set up an Oversight Committee meeting for October had been seconded and asked for discussion, there was none. The motion carried. SCMIC Priority List The Governing Board moved on to the Integrated SCMIC Communications Priority List. The main changes since the last meeting pertain to Madison County and related to funding estimates. Park County also had requested that priority 6 and 8 be changed around and that was done. There were no other updates. Frank asked Jason how Gallatin County‟s paging engineering was coming along. Ben Hess was absent and Jason had no new updates. Frank asked Jason about funding for the project and Jason stated that it was not secured as of yet. They had hoped for help from the Yellowstone Club and that has not materialized. A general discussion of the Big Sky situation ensued between he and Frank. Frank reminded the group that, in the past Gallatin County had provided all the public safety services for Big Sky under contract to Madison County or by some other arrangement. Jason reported that Yellowstone Club had approached Gallatin County 911 for coverage. As Yellowstone Club is not a tax payer of Gallatin County they cannot be covered but could be contracted out. Gallatin County gave them a quote on the contract amount which they turned down. Frank closed the discussion by summarizing that Madison County is now deciding what direction they want to go with Public Safety in the upper portion of Big Sky. Jason then returned the discussion back to the Project Directors report. He plans to start tying these specific projects to sites that IMPD is interested in and get them as high on the list as


possible. Kerry clarified that the Quebec site, #4 is going to turn into Gray Cliff, which Jason stated is on the IM list for this year. Frank stated that as things begin to develop and the microwave loops develop, our priorities will change also. Jason reminded everyone that the IM focus for this year was to do the ring across the state or one hop off and Jason‟s push as Project Director this year is to look solely at the hops off and look at shooting off towards Meagher, down to Madison and Park Counties. Jason passed out a map showing the Microwave coverage projected for the end of this year, pending the development of the 4 Gallatin County sites. Discussion followed in regards to the shooting between sites and whether anyone underneath the line could take advantage of it. Jason explained that microwave is line of sight, not like VHF, it is point to point only. Bob also asked if the MDT‟s worked along that stretch and Jason explained that the microwave is the backbone for the MDT system. At each one of these sites there is a radio which gives the propagation route the VHF footprint. The current estimated cost per hop is $160,000.00. Kerry stated that once again Sweet Grass and Park Counties who have the ability or a desire to hook into this and once again we feel like it is passing them by. Jason replied that those are the types of things he is looking for to take back to the Project Directors for consideration in disbursement of the FY ‟06 HS funding. We need to start looking for the hops off the loop. The focus should be on connecting the centers to the loop now versus making more loops. Frank asked for Pete Mohan to explain the Interoperability Strategy project sheet he had passed out and to give us some insight into the funding process. Pete explained that the Project Directors, through the Public Safety Services Bureau, had asked for documentary support for explaining the IM initiative to their governments, responders, etc. PSSB found that Motorola had publicity money that essentially led to the product handed out. He explained the reason he brought it with him is to see who had an interest in it and to get the information out. Frank responded, saying that many of the counties, his being just an example, feel disenfranchised in the IM process and that every sales tool available would be valuable, as it is a difficult “sell” these days. Gary Hindoin stressed the responsibility of each individual county to support its Public Safety entities and that it was time for the counties to “step up to the plate”. Jason noted that we needed to keep in mind that grant dollars are not going to solve our funding problems, and it is our responsibility through our Project Director to ensure that we fight for as much as we can to get an appropriate share out of whatever funding the State does get. This is why we go to the Project Directors meeting and why we have stuck together as a Consortium. Frank asked for any further comments or questions on the FY „06 funding and related issues. Gary Hindoin replied with a summary of funding as regards the Interoperability Montana Project. There were 56 Homeland Security Grants, he pointed out. The bottom 16 got 90 million dollars, the next 16 got 140 million. Montana is in the bottom 15 percent of whatever Homeland Security‟s threat risk there is. The HS Grant base was 7.1 million and Montana got 7.9 million, so we were given approximately $800,000.00 based on threat and risk. Because of


the 80/20 split, State funded projects will suffer the most. Between the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention program and State Homeland Security grant program, there will be roughly 5.8 million for Interoperable Montana, versus 7.2 million. We‟re looking at about a 1.3 million difference from last year. Kerry questioned if the State was planning on other methods to try and get further money. Gary did offer that, in the big picture of things, Senator Dodd‟s Senate bill there is supposed to have $100 billion dollars going to interoperable communications. How that is going to be managed and how it is going to be granted has not been laid out, but it is somewhere on the horizon. Pete explained that 1.2 billion will be earmarked for Homeland Security, earmarked basically for communications. “They” need to be convinced that Montana is the better bang for the buck. We have North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho for a Federal Region, Giving them one time zone, 550 miles of border and 14 border crossings for 150 million. We are not a major threat or risk but we are a bridge between the east and west coast, he observed. Jason asked when the funding stream would be available and Pete said it should be available in October. Jason stated that he would like to see PSSB produce another one page product that ties the 153 million to the 1.2 billion he had discussed, so that we could take it to the DES Association, the State Fire Chiefs Association, MSPOA, EMS Association, etc, to bring their support on board and to start pushing our State Representatives. Pete stated he would undertake the task. Jason offered that we need to get all these organizations together to speak as one, to go after the 153 million dollars. NEW BUSINESS Frank asked if there was any other business to be brought before the board. There was none. The next meeting was then set for July 5th in Big Timber. Jason invited anyone interested to come to the Project Directors meeting June 13th in Bozeman at the First Security Bank. There being no other business, Frank Ford adjourned the meeting at 11:53 pm.

Submitted to Frank Ford for Additions and Corrections June 26, 2006


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