Joint services committee discusses public safety radios, code enforcement officers

Wednesday, February 7, 2024–9:28 a.m.

-David Crowder, WRGA News-

With technology evolving and costs rising, city and county officials feel it may be time to reform a public safety radio system committee.

Floyd County Manager Jamie McCord told the Rome-Floyd Joint Services Committee Tuesday that significant spending is on the horizon to pay for hardware upgrades.

“There is no fund balance any longer,” he said. “We’ve been transferring funds. We did $290,000 in 2022 and we’re doing a $262,000 transfer into the fund, just to maintain the radio system. We’re out of the warranty period and technology is changing constantly. We did an upgrade about three years ago with the technological side of the equipment. We are now working on hardware.”

McCord estimated about $800,000 in SPLOST funds has been put in to upgrade some of the equipment over the last two years.

Rome City Manager Sammy Rich agreed the committee needs to be put back together to talk about some of these issues.

“We pay, I think it is $19 per radio,” Rich said. We have 100 radios in the police department then with the city general fund we would budget that amount annually. Then you carry that out amongst the other departments, like public works. So, everyone is on the radio system and sharing in the cost. So, it’s a big element”

The radio committee, which was made up of public safety department heads and staff, along with the city and county managers, has not had a meeting since 2012, according to McCord.   

Committee discusses hiring code enforcement officers

During Tuesday’s Rome-Floyd Joint Services Committee meeting, Floyd County Commissioner Larry Maxey asked if some of the building inspection fund balance could be used to hire new code enforcement officers.

“We’re thinking that if we can recruit and hire two new code enforcement officers, we could afford to bring them on and they would be cross-trained as building inspectors,” said Rome City Manager Sammy Rich. “They could do both jobs and meet all the budgetary requirements. We think that is probably a pretty good solution to help clean up. We’ve got the money to do it as long things stay good.”

According to Rich, he assumes that the two new code enforcement officers would be countywide.