1 Public Safety Radio Communication Project October 2008
2 Section 1: Executive Summary Section 2: Agency Review Introduction System Coverage Radio System Inventory System Findings Section 3: Option 1 Narrowband VHF Introduction System Coverage Paging Narrowband Upgrade Costs Implementation Section 4: Option 2 Expand Analog Coverage Introduction System Coverage Paging Analog Coverage Expansion Costs Implementation Section 5: Option 3 Enhanced Digital VHF System Introduction System Coverage
3 Public Safety Radio Communication Project Paging Enhanced Digital VHF System Costs Implementation Section 6: Option 4 Join the ARMER System Introduction System Coverage ARMER Infrastructure and System Considerations ARMER System Costs Implementation Section 7: Paging Options Introduction Paging System Coverage Paging System Costs Implementation Appendix 1: Cost Summary... A1-1 Appendix 2: Addendum... A2-1 Appendix 3: System Material Descriptions... A3-1
4 GeoComm contracted with Otter Tail County to provide information relative to the current condition and future direction of public safety communications throughout the county. This report contains that information and is intended to allow the staff and management of the county to make a fully informed business decision regarding those systems. Otter Tail County operates public radio communications systems from the law enforcement center in Fergus Falls for: County and local law enforcement Fire and paging, countywide County highway County corrections Local agencies These systems along with the dispatch center provide emergency telephone (9-1-1), dispatch, and radio communications for virtually all public safety operations throughout the county. Today all the county systems operate in what is termed a wideband mode that, by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule, must be replaced before January 1, 2013, with narrowband systems. While nearly half the first responder equipment in Otter Tail County is ready for that transition, none of the infrastructure can be modified or reprogrammed to meet this objective. The option of do nothing does not exist in this case. The FCC has made it clear that any agency operating any wideband equipment as of January 1, 2013, will be subject to fines and will be required to turn off the offending equipment. There is no exemption for public safety. The options presented here cover Otter Tail County s methods of meeting this requirement. They range from simple replacement of existing radios to full transition to the ARMER system. Option 1: Replace all wideband radios and reprogram those capable of narrowband operation. Estimated cost is approximately $1,700,000. This option is the simplest to implement but leaves intact all communications issues the county currently faces. Option 2: Replace wideband equipment and upgrade coverage. Estimated cost for this option is approximately $1,750,000. This option would provide all county agencies with countywide coverage. It
5 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 1-2 does not require new sites as the county operated sites for ESC/paging can be expanded to include law enforcement. Option 3: Convert the systems to digital, except ESC/paging. Estimated cost for this option is approximately $3,650,000. This option not only expands the coverage of law enforcement, it allows for modern radios that can include privacy and emergency features not available in analog radios. It also has the advantage of using the recently adopted P25 public safety radio standards. Radios purchased under this option are expected to be useful for longer than those purchased under Options 1 and 2. Option 4: Join the ARMER system. The estimated cost for this option is approximately $4,700,000. This option also requires an independent upgrade of the ESC/paging system, as tone and voice paging, so important to fire agencies, cannot be accommodated by ARMER. As noted under Option 4, analog paging cannot be done under a digital system (the ARMER system does not support paging). Only the ARMER system cost estimate requires a separate upgrade of the ESC/paging system. Maintenance of radio systems is a necessary operating expense and must be taken into consideration. Most vendors today offer a one to three year warranty that covers all new radio equipment. Even so, all options should expect between $6,000 and $10,000 in ongoing monthly maintenance costs. After the warranty period, the ARMER system would be approximately $15,000. Making changes of this nature require planning and coordination. Once a contract for upgrade is signed, Options 1 and 2 should be completed in 9 to 12 months. Option 3 should take between 12 and 16 months, and Option 4 approximately 18 months. These times are very tentative and depend on factors such as manufacturer supply, delivery schedules, installer team availability, and weather. This report presents the choices before Otter Tail County. GeoComm is not recommending any specific option as all have a series of pros and cons. The one certainty is that federal regulations require action. The fact that this affects every public safety radio system in the United States also means that delay will invariably cost more. Waiting until the last moment may result in system shut down due to the inability of providers to supply and install equipment. The information presented here will allow the Otter Tail County administration to determine the most appropriate business plan to meet the needs of its agencies and citizens.
6 Otter Tail County Sheriff s Office operates a Law Enforcement Center (LEC), which houses the county s Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) as well as radio communication dispatch services, with a physical address of: Otter Tail County Courthouse 417 Court Street South Fergus Falls, MN The county provides dispatch services for law enforcement, fire services, and emergency medical services (EMS) departments and agencies throughout the county. The following lists the public safety agencies operating within Otter Tail County: Agency Name Adams Elementary School Henning Police Department Pelican Fire Battle Lake Fire Department Henning Schools Pelican Rapids Ambulance Battle Lake Police Department Hillcrest Lutheran Academy Pelican Rapids High School Battle Lake Rescue Lake Regional Hospital Pelican Rapids Police Department Battle Lake Schools Lakeland Christian School Perham Area Learning Center Bluffton Fire Department Leaf River White Pines Academy Perham EMS City of Fergus Falls McKinley Elementary School Perham Fire Department City of Pelican Rapids New York Mills Elementary Perham Hospital District Dalton Fire Department New York Mills Fire Department Perham Memorial Hospital Deer Creek Fire Department New York Mills High School Perham Police Department Dent Fire Department New York Mills Police Department Perham-Dent Schools Elizabeth Fire Department Otter Tail County Jail Ringdahl Ambulance Fergus Falls City Works Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office Rothsay Fire Department Fergus Falls Fire Department Otter Tail County Highway Department St. Henry School Fergus Falls Learning Center Otter Tail Fire Department St. Paul s Lutheran School Fergus Falls Police Department Parkers Prairie Ambulance Underwood Fire Department Fergus Falls Public Schools Parkers Prairie Fire Department Underwood Schools Henning Ambulance Parkers Prairie Police Department Vergas Fire Department Henning Fire Department Parkers Prairie Schools Vining Fire Department
7 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-2 Not all agencies currently operate radio equipment. The Sheriff s Office is equipped with the following radio channels: Amor Pelican Rapids ESC Towers Fergus Falls Fire Fergus Falls Police Highway Erhard Land Management Otter Tail County Fire Public Works State Fire State Police Base State Police Cars State Police Emergency The PSAP and dispatch center currently uses a two position PC based Moducom UltraCom MT radio console in the dispatch office, with a third position located in the supervisor s office. The dispatch office equipment is installed in Watson furniture, constructed to house the dispatch and communications equipment. This furniture was installed in the year The consoles are configured with multiple monitors and screens to organize the radio resources. The radio system is housed in seven sites throughout the county. A tone remote control system in the dispatch center directly controls the communications equipment located on the roof of the county courthouse. The remote locations for system equipment are towers in or near Amor, Erhard, Fergus Falls, Hoot Lake, Perham, and Vining. The system is divided into sub-systems: law enforcement, county highways, and ESC/paging. On the following page, a diagram depicts the layout of the Otter Tail County radio system.
8 Public Safety Radio Communication Project N W MHz MHz MHz MHz Erhard County Law County ESC / Paging County Highway N W MHz N W MHz Perham County ESC / Paging Co Jail N W MHz Amor County Law N W MHz MHz MHz MHz MHz MHz N W MHz MHz LEC County Fire ESC Channels County Law Paging Hoot Lake Point to Point MINSEF N W N W MHz MHz MHz Fergus Falls County ESC / Paging Vining County Highway County Paging / ESC
9 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-4 Otter Tail County holds the following radio licenses issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC): Call Sign Licensed Agency Licensed Frequency KWL264 Otter Tail County Law Enforcement Center WNUU426 Otter Tail County Otter Tail County Highway Department WPTG985 Otter Tail County County Coordinator WPPB748 Otter Tail County Maintenance WPSF648 Otter Tail County Detention Facility WPZU831 Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office WQHE774 Otter Tail County Engineering Tech All Otter Tail County VHF radio licenses are currently issued for wideband operation.
10 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-5 Otter Tail County uses two systems of radios for public safety operation. There are two sites, Amor and Erhard, which provide law enforcement coverage. Four sites, Erhard, Perham, Vining, and Fergus Falls, provide ESC and paging coverage. A single-site, Hoot Lake, offers interoperability over the state point-topoint frequency and the MNSEF channel. The graphics on the following pages provide the projected coverage for these wideband, analog radio systems. Graphic M1 Law Enforcement Coverage: This graphic depicts the expected signal coverage for the two law enforcement sites. This is the talk-out coverage for the repeater system. Graphic M2 Law Enforcement Mobile Talk-in: This is the area where mobile radios can both hear and talk-back to the dispatcher. Graphic M3 Law Enforcement Portable Talk-in: Portable radios, with much less power than mobile radios, smaller and less efficient antennas, are less able to reply to transmissions from dispatch. This graphic depicts coverage that can be expected from a portable radio on the street. Coverage from inside buildings will be considerably less. Graphic M4 Law Enforcement Interoperability Talk-out: The Hoot Lake transmitter handles dispatch communications with state point-to-point and MNSEF. This is the projection area where dispatch may normally be heard. Graphic M5 Law Enforcement Interoperability Talk-in: The point-to-point and MNSEF channels are generally considered for mobile interoperability. This graphic depicts the area where mobile radios can talk-back to the dispatch center. Graphic M6 Law Enforcement Corrections Talk-out: There is a single low power transmitter at the county jail. This shows the area that this radio can be heard, or talk-out. Graphic M7 Law Enforcement Corrections Talk-in: The license for corrections radios is limited to five watts, typically a portable (handheld) radio. This shows the coverage that can be expected from a portable radio on the street. In-building coverage is less, but should be reliable in the excellent and very good coverage areas.
11 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-6 Graphic M8 ESC System Coverage: The ESC system is composed of four repeater sites. The ESC system provides voice and paging for fire and emergency services throughout the county. This graphic shows the combined coverage of all four sites, from dispatch to mobile and portable radios. Graphic M9 ESC Mobile Talk-in: This shows the area where a mobile radio can be expected to be able to reply to the dispatch center. Graphic M10 ESC Portable Talk-in: This graphic is for the same four radio systems as M8, but for less efficient portable radios. Graphic M11 ESC Paging: The tone and voice pager system is a one-way operation. Pagers are worn on the hip, placing them lower than portable radios and shielded by the body of the wearer. The antenna system on a pager is also much smaller than that of a portable and again less efficient. The coverage is the prediction for a pager on the street. Coverage inside buildings or vehicles can be expected to be considerably less. Graphic M12 County Highway Talk-out: This graphic shows the expected coverage for the two highway department sites. This is talk-out from the repeater. Graphic M13 County Highway Mobile Talk-in: Most operation from highway departments to dispatch are from mobile units. This is the expected area where those mobiles can talk-back to the dispatch center.
12 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-7 Coverage Maps Map Legend: Signal coverage projections are on a continually varying scale. The legend below shows how the following graphics should be interpreted. Graphic M1 Law Enforcement Coverage
13 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-8 Graphic M2 Law Enforcement Mobile Talk-in Graphic M3 Law Enforcement Portable Talk-in
14 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-9 Graphic M4 Law Enforcement Interoperability Talk-out Graphic M5 Law Enforcement Interoperability Talk-in
15 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-10 Graphic M6 Law Enforcement Corrections Talk-out Graphic M7 Law Enforcement Corrections Talk-in
16 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-11 Graphic M8 ESC System Coverage Graphic M9 ESC Mobile Talk-in
17 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-12 Graphic M10 ESC Portable Talk-in Graphic M11 ESC Paging
18 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-13 Graphic M12 County Highway Talk-out Graphic M13 Highway Department Mobile Talk-in
19 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-14 The public safety agencies within Otter Tail County were surveyed and inventories collected for the purpose of determining the number of radios in use as well as their ability to be modified to operate in a narrowband mode. The responses were of varying degrees of detail and GeoComm has prepared the following inventory review. Where radio counts were not able to identify a model or year for units, we have estimated the number of radios requiring replacement for narrowband operation. It has been GeoComm s experience that in the state of Minnesota, most agencies have approximately 50 percent of their equipment narrowband capable. We used this method when more specific inventory information was not available. In some cases survey radio counts were larger than the provided inventory. In the interest of providing the most useful data for financial decisions, GeoComm will use the higher count. We have provided equipment counts for all responding agencies. When developing system pricing, this study is limited to the public safety agencies of Otter Tail County. The following tables indicate the quantities of radios and pagers in use by the emergency response agencies in Otter Tail County. Law Enforcement Agencies Agency Type Count Narrow Wide Battle Lake Police Department M H P B Fergus Falls Police Department M H P B Henning Police Department M H P B New York Mills Police Department M 4 2 2
20 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-15 Agency Type Count Narrow Wide H P B Otter Tail County Corrections M H P B Otter Tail County Sheriff M H P B Parkers Prairie Police Department M H P B Pelican Rapids Police Department M H P B Perham Police Department M H P B 1 0 1
21 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-16 The following table summarizes the law enforcement agency inventory: Total Law Enforcement Radio Inventory 276 Total Law Enforcement Radios 85 Total Law Enforcement Mobiles 182 Total Law Enforcement Portables 9 Total Law Enforcement Base Radios 42 Narrowband Mobiles 43 Wideband Mobiles 49% Narrowband Mobiles 51% Wideband Mobiles 143 Narrowband Portables 39 Wideband Portables 79% Narrowband Portables 51% Wideband Portables 2 Narrowband Base 7 Wideband Base 22% Narrowband Base 78% Wideband Base The following quantifies the numbers of radios and pagers in use by the fire agencies in Otter Tail County: Fire Agencies Agency Type Count Narrow Wide Battle Lake Fire Department M H P B Battle Lake Rescue M H P B Bluffton Fire Department M H
22 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-17 Agency Type Count Narrow Wide P B Dalton Fire Department M H P B Deer Creek Fire Department M H P B Dent Fire Department M H P B Elizabeth Fire Department M H P B Fergus Falls Fire Department M H P B New York Mills Fire Department M H P B Otter Tail Fire Department M H P B Parkers Prairie Fire Department M H
23 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-18 Agency Type Count Narrow Wide P B Pelican Rapids Fire Department M H P B Perham Fire Department M H P B Rothsay Fire Department M H P B Underwood Fire Department M H P B Vergas Fire Department M H P B Vining Fire Department M H P B 0 0 0
24 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-19 The following table summarizes the fire agency inventory: Total Fire Department Radio Inventory 877 Total Fire Radios 130 Total Fire Mobiles 226 Total Fire Portables 18 Total Fire Base Radios 503 Total Fire Pagers 67 Narrowband Mobiles 63 Wideband Mobiles 52% Narrowband Mobiles 48% Wideband Mobiles 152 Narrowband Portables 74 Wideband Portables 67% Narrowband Portables 33% Wideband Portables 6 Narrowband Base 12 Wideband Base 33% Narrowband Base 67% Wideband Base 208 Narrowband Pager 295 Wideband Pager 41% Narrowband Pager 59% Wideband Pager The following table quantifies the numbers of radios and pagers in use by the public works agencies in Otter Tail County: Public Works Agencies Agency Type Count Narrow Wide City of Pelican Rapids M H P B Fergus Falls Public Works M
25 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-20 Agency Type Count Narrow Wide H P B New York Mills Public Works M H P B Otter Tail County Highway Department M H P B Parkers Prairie Public Works M H P B Pelican Rapids Public Works M H P B Perham Public Works M H P B 0 0 0
26 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-21 The following table summarizes the public works agency inventory: Total Public Works Radio Inventory 237 Total Public Works Radios 165 Total Public Works Mobiles 58 Total Public Works Portables 13 Total Public Works Base Radios 1 Total Public Works Pagers 43 Narrowband Mobiles 122 Wideband Mobiles 26% Narrowband Mobiles 74% Wideband Mobiles 13 Narrowband Portables 45 Wideband Portables 22% Narrowband Portables 78% Wideband Portables 2 Narrowband Base 11 Wideband Base 15% Narrowband Base 85% Wideband Base 1 Narrowband Pager 0 Wideband Pager 100% Narrowband Pager 0% Wideband Pager The following table quantifies the numbers of radios and pagers in use by the ambulance and medical agencies in Otter Tail County: Ambulance/Medical Service Agencies Agency Type Count Narrow Wide Henning Fire Department/Ambulance M H P B 3 0 1
27 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-22 Agency Type Count Narrow Wide Lake Region Health M H P B Parkers Prairie Ambulance M H P B Perham Ambulance M H P B Perham Hospital M H P B Ringdahl Ambulance M H P B It should be noted that Henning Ambulance and Henning Fire Department provided combined information and their equipment is included under the fire agencies category.
28 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-23 The following table summarizes the ambulance/medical service agency inventory: Total Ambulance/Medical Radio Inventory 207 Total Medical Radios 23 Total Medical Mobiles 63 Total Medical Portables 5 Total Medical Base Radios 116 Total Medical Pagers 11 Narrowband Mobiles 12 Wideband Mobiles 48% Narrowband Mobiles 52% Wideband Mobiles 41 Narrowband Portables 22 Wideband Portables 65% Narrowband Portables 35% Wideband Portables 2 Narrowband Base 3 Wideband Base 40% Narrowband Base 60% Wideband Base 19 Narrowband Pager 97 Wideband Pager 16% Narrowband Pager 84% Wideband Pager The following table summarizes the school systems radio inventory: School Systems Agency Type Count Narrow Wide Fergus Falls Schools Mobile Handheld (portable) Pagers Base Radios (fixed location) New York Mills High School Mobile
29 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-24 Agency Type Count Narrow Wide Handheld (portable) Pagers Base Radios (fixed location) Underwood Schools Mobile Handheld (portable) Pagers Base Radios (fixed location) We should note that Perham High School and Perham-Dent Schools submitted reports stating that they do not currently use radios. The following table summarizes the school system inventory: Total School System Radio Inventory 64 Total School Radios 35 Total School Mobiles 27 Total School Portables 2 Total School Base Radios 0 Total School Pagers 8 Narrowband Mobiles 27 Wideband Mobiles 23% Narrowband Mobiles 77% Wideband Mobiles 16 Narrowband Portables 11 Wideband Portables 59% Narrowband Portables 41% Wideband Portables 1 Narrowband Base 1 Wideband Base 50% Narrowband Base 50% Wideband Base 0 Narrowband Pager 0 Wideband Pager
30 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-25 Total NA NA School System Radio Inventory Narrowband Pager Wideband Pager Radio Equipment Summary Type Mobile Handheld Base Pager Control Repeater Total Law Enforcement Fire Rescue Public Works Ambulance/Medical Schools Infrastructure Totals ,689 Narrowband Ready Type Mobile Handheld Base Pager Control Repeater Total Law Enforcement Fire Rescue Public Works Ambulance/Medical Schools Infrastructure Totals Wideband Only Type Mobile Handheld Base Pager Control Repeater Total Law Enforcement Fire Rescue Public Works Ambulance/Medical Schools Infrastructure Totals
31 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-26 Total equipment narrowband ready: 47 percent County Repeater Sites The following chart is a summary of the inventory of equipment Otter Tail County owns and operates at the LEC and remote repeater sites. This is the basic county infrastructure to allow the end user equipment to be of maximum use. The inventory is presented as a listing of equipment and a determination of its ability to be converted to narrowband operation. Site Use Make N/W LEC Amor Control Motorola W Pelican Rapids Control Motorola W ESC Control Motorola W Fergus Falls Police Department Control Motorola W County Highway Midland W State Patrol Receiver GE W Fergus Falls Fire Control Motorola W County Land Control Midland W State Fire Motorola W Erhard Erhard Repeater Motorola W Pelican Rapids Repeater Motorola W County Land Repeater Midland W Amor Amor Repeater Motorola W Perham Perham Repeater Motorola W Fergus Falls Fergus Falls Repeater Motorola W Vining County Highway Midland W Vining Repeater Motorola W Hoot Lake Point-to-Point Motorola W MNSEF Motorola W
32 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-27 Site Use Make N/W Fergus Falls Water Tower Fergus Falls Fire Repeater Motorola W Fergus Falls Police Repeater Motorola W Fergus Falls CD Siren Site Fergus Falls Public Works Motorola W Otter Tail County and reporting agencies have 13 repeater stations and 9 control stations, none of which are able to be modified or programmed for narrowband operation.
33 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 2-28 In gathering the necessary information for this study, GeoComm collected survey information from the various agencies. Additional information was gathered from the kickoff meeting and subsequent meetings between GeoComm and Otter Tail County Sheriff s Office, telephone calls to selected agencies, and individual tower site visits. Issues noted during this process were as follows: Interference in the form of skip and other signals from distant stations Noise and interference from nearby electronic equipment Portable radio coverage Age of equipment Capacity of system during major events The options presented address these issues, although some options can only address a limited number of the issues. Only Option 4 ARMER is able to address and correct all the issues.
34 Federal regulations regarding radio systems have made updating radio equipment and modifying licenses a requirement. Unfortunately the option of do nothing does not exist in this case. This section will list the equipment needed to change the existing Otter Tail County radio system from its current wideband mode of operation to the FCC mandated narrowband mode of operation. This option provides no enhancements to the existing system other than updates that will bring the radio system incompliance with the narrowband mandate. This option does not include coverage upgrades for any changes in coverage that may result from narrowbanding. Under Option 1, all radios in the Otter Tail County dispatch system will either be replaced or modified. Those radios, including repeaters, base stations, control stations, mobiles, and handheld units that have been identified as unable to be converted to narrowband operation, will be replaced with new public safety grade radios. All of those radios identified as able to be converted will be reprogrammed to operate in a narrowband mode. In Otter Tail County, this means the radios that will handle the paging system for the county will need to be replaced with narrowband radios. The replacement of the paging system is identified separately and presented in Section 7 of this report. Since the system is live and in constant use, agencies will need to coordinate with the equipment suppliers to avoid downtime. Fortunately, an end user radio operating in a narrowband mode can be properly handled by a wideband repeater (the reverse is not necessarily true). Normally, end user radios are replaced before the main repeater; this minimizes any interruption of service or the need to share channels. Pros The advantages to Option 1 are as follows: Meets the letter and spirit of the FCC rules and regulations The least expensive option The simplest option for staff, no additional training or system changes Speed of implementation No new licenses, and existing license modifications are minor Can be accomplished by existing suppliers of services and equipment
35 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 3-2 Addresses age of equipment issues identified during the survey process Not all equipment will need to be replaced as some radios are already narrowband capable Cons The disadvantages to Option 1 are as follows: Addresses only FCC rules and regulations Does not improve interference issues that were identified by various fire agencies during the survey process Does not address capacity issues identified during the survey process Some unpredictable loss of coverage in marginal signal areas Short-term fix likely requiring additional work in five to eight years Adds no additional features or growth potential for dollars spent Requires updates and changes to system while live
36 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 3-3 Option 1 provides coverage that is very similar to the current system. Narrowband transmissions lose some ability to provide coverage in noisy or weak signal areas. Below we present the projected narrowband coverage for the law enforcement and the ESC systems. For comparison, an inset of the original system coverage map is included with each graphic. You will see very little change as the loss is generally only in weak signal areas. The ability for a mobile or portable to talk-back into a radio system is the limiting factor in communications. For Option 1 we will provide these two studies for both the law and the ESC systems. For highway and interoperability channels (point-to-point and MNSEF), we will only show mobile coverage, as this is the primary method of operation for those systems. For the corrections system, only portable coverage will be plotted. Graphic O1a Law Enforcement Mobile Talk-in: This graphic depicts the expected coverage for a narrowband mobile radio at the current law enforcement sites. The inset is the original coverage under wideband. Differences are slight, but there will be some reduction of coverage. Graphic O1b Law Enforcement Portable Talk-in: This graphic depicts the expected coverage for a narrowband portable radio at the current law enforcements sites. The inset is the original coverage under wideband. Again, differences are slight, but there will be some reduction of coverage. Graphic O1c ESC Mobile Talk-in: Like its law enforcement counterpart, there are some differences in the ESC voice coverage. Graphic O1d ESC Portable Talk-in: This graphic shows the area a portable radio can be expected to communicate with the ESC system. Graphic O1e Interoperability Mobile Coverage: This shows the area where a mobile radio can communicate with dispatch on MNSEF or point-to-point. Graphic O1f Highway Department Coverage: This graphic presents the range for highway department mobiles with narrowband radios. Graphic O1g Corrections Coverage: The corrections radio operates from one location and serves mostly portable radios. This is the expected coverage for that system.
37 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 3-4 Graphic O1a Law Enforcement Mobile Talk-in Graphic O1b Law Enforcement Portable Talk-in
38 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 3-5 Graphic O1c ESC Mobile Talk-in Graphic O1d ESC Portable Talk-in
39 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 3-6 Graphic O1e Interoperability Mobile Coverage Graphic O1f Highway Department Coverage
40 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 3-7 Graphic O1g Corrections Coverage
41 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 3-8 Under Option 1, the paging system is addressed as part of the ESC radio system. The only additional costs are to replace the personal pager units that are not capable of operation in narrowband.
42 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 3-9 Based on the previously identified Otter Tail County equipment lists, the costs for exercising this option for law enforcement, fire, public works, and ambulance/medical services are as follows: Narrowband Upgrade Costs Overview Item Quantity Unit Cost Extended Notes Radio - Mobile VHF/UHF With Install 267 $2,300 $614,100 Replace wideband mobiles Radio-Portable VHF/UHF 172 $1,000 $172,000 Replace wideband portables Radio - Re-Program to Narrowband 574 $75 $43,050 Radio - Base Station MTR $10,000 $470,000 Radio - Control Station - VHF/UHF 9 $2,500 $22,500 Re-program all narrowband capable equipment Replace wideband base and repeater stations Replace all wideband control stations Licensing - Narrowband Only 7 $100 $700 County owned Licenses Licensing - Narrowband Only 23 $100 $2,300 Licenses other than county Electrical and Grounding Site Work Contingency Fund Consulting Fees 1 $10,000 $10,000 Upgrade LEC rooftop Percent of Total $133,465 10% of project cost Percent of Total $146,812 11% of project cost Total $1,614,927 Notes: base station MTR2000 includes existing county and local equipment. There are 13 repeaters identified in the inventory/survey process. Three base radios are the property of the county (one each for corrections, county highway, county Sheriff). All others are owned by local agencies. 2. Control Stations identified include those for: county land, state patrol (receive), county highway, Fergus Falls police and fire, local fire, Pelican, Amor, and ESC. All radio systems incorporate ongoing maintenance costs. Manufacturers make available warranty and extended warranty periods that cover new mobile and portable radios for up to three years, other equipment normally for one year. Current pricing for maintenance is on the following page.
43 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 3-10 Maintenance Costs Item Quantity Unit Cost Extended Notes Maintenance - Repeater Site 13 $864 $11,232 Per radio - monthly cost Maintenance - New Radio 887 $0 $0 Warrantee - all replacement equipment Maintenance - Remote Base 13 $864 $11,232 Remote locations - all narrowband ready base Maintenance - LEC LEC narrowband ready control 0 $360 $0 Base/Control stations Maintenance - Existing Console 1 $960 $960 Annual fee Maintenance - Mobile 171 $100 $17,100 Existing narrowband ready mobiles Maintenance - Portable 390 $80 $31,200 Existing narrowband ready portables Total $71,724 All costs presented here are based on the market in While we expect the cost estimates to be accurate for much of the upcoming year, inflation factors should be applied after mid-2009.
44 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 3-11 Option 1 is the most direct option with no additions or corrections to the system. Even so, it will take some time to implement. The following is a broad outline of the basic steps to implement Option 1 and an estimate of a reasonable time to proceed with the project. The specifics of each step and the exact times are vendor dependant. Different manufacturers have varying factory lead times for equipment and local suppliers need time to properly coordinate and assign crews. These steps are to provide a guide to ensure the necessary activities are accomplished. The steps necessary to implement Option 1 are as follows: Conduct a formal in-depth equipment audit and develop equipment list Contract with one or more vendors for equipment Develop channel programming Apply for FCC license modifications for narrowband emissions Convert end user radios to narrowband Convert fixed stations to narrowband Implementation Timeline Task Inventory Contract Vendor Develop Programming Apply for License Order Equipment Install Equipment Convert Subscriber Units Convert Repeater Switch Over Month
45 Otter Tail County currently utilizes two tower sites for law enforcement, but has additional sites throughout the county for ESC/paging and county highways. The existing system coverage graphic shows little or no reliable coverage in the eastern portions of the county for portable radios for law enforcement, but acceptable to good coverage for those using other sites. Option 2 identifies the equipment and possible site locations to provide countywide coverage for the Otter Tail law system. Other agencies already enjoy this coverage. Today the Otter Tail law enforcement system works from the Erhard and Amor towers only, while ESC and paging use Erhard, Perham, Vining, and Fergus Falls. In order to improve law system coverage to that of the ESC and paging system, Otter Tail County could retire the Amor tower site and add the law channel to Perham, Vining, and Fergus Falls. The county currently controls this system via radio signals from the LEC rooftop site. Control of the additional stations would be accomplished by the same equipment. Otter Tail County also operates a two site system for the county highway department. This agency typically communicates to dispatch from mobile equipment rather than portable radios. The two sites, Erhard and Vining, also present a better coverage area than that of the law enforcement system. Therefore, no additional enhancements to this system are presented. Corrections and interoperability channels also have limited but adequate coverage. We do not anticipate making additions to either of those systems. The County dispatch console is, according to direct response from the manufacturer, fully able to connect to any conventional (non-trunked) radio system. The console itself does not require any upgrades or modifications for Option 2. Option 2 therefore contains all the elements of Option 1, with the removal of the Amor equipment and installation of narrowband equipment at Erhard, Perham, Vining, and Fergus Falls for law enforcement as well as ESC/paging. This option meets the coverage issues for law enforcement mentioned in surveys, but does not address any additional items.
46 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 4-2 Pros The advantages to Option 2 are as follows: Meets the letter and spirit of the FCC rules and regulations Provides greatly improved coverage countywide as requested in the survey for Otter Tail County Sheriff s Office and law enforcement agencies Low to moderate additional cost for countywide coverage compared to upgrading to digital or moving to ARMER Addresses age of equipment issue Minimal additional training for system changes Speed of implementation Can be accomplished by existing suppliers of services and equipment Able to utilize existing tower sites Provides some ability to grow Cons The disadvantages to Option 2 are as follows: Does not improve interference issues Does not address capacity issues Higher cost than Option 1 Short-term fix likely requiring additional work in five to eight years Growth ability is limited Adds additional operational expense for maintenance and power at added sites Changes and updates must be made to a live system Requires licensing two additional sites and relocating one existing site Requires modification of the current dispatch console
47 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 4-3 Option 2 provides additional coverage over that of the existing system for law enforcement. Projected coverage maps are shown on the following page. As the ESC and paging already reach countywide, no additional work or funds are required here beyond moving to narrowband operation. Shown on the following page are projections for coverage for a four site law enforcement system. Graphic O2a Law Enforcement Mobile Coverage: The talk-in range of a system is considered a reliable indication of the systems usefulness. We are presenting GeoComm calculations of the mobile radio talk-in for a four site system. For comparison, the current wideband county law enforcement system is shown inset. Graphic O2b Law Enforcement Portable Coverage: While much of the work in law enforcement is from a mobile radio, officers rely on the ability of a handheld portable unit to be able to talk to dispatch. This projection shows the expected coverage of an enhanced Otter Tail County law enforcement radio system for portable radio talk-in to dispatch. All other coverage in Option 2 is identical to the narrowband coverage presented in Option 1. We will not repeat those graphics at this time.
48 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 4-4 Graphic O2a Law Enforcement Mobile Coverage Graphic O2b Law Enforcement Portable Coverage
49 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 4-5 Under Option 2, the paging system is addressed as part of the ESC radio system. The only additional costs are to replace the personal pager units that are not capable of operation in narrowband.
50 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 4-6 Based on the previously identified Otter Tail County equipment lists, the costs for exercising this option are as follows. Analog Coverage Expansion Cost Overview Under Option 2, three of the ESC sites would receive new repeaters and antenna systems. These would also require new licenses. The LEC control station and the Erhard site would simply have in-place equipment upgraded and licenses modified. Item Quantity Unit Cost Extended Notes Radio - Mobile VHF/UHF with Install 267 $2,300 $614,100 Replace wideband mobiles Radio - Portable VHF/UHF 172 $1,000 $172,000 Replace wideband portables Radio - Re-Program to Narrowband Radio - Base Station MTR2000 Radio - Control Station - VHF/UHF 574 $75 $43, $10,000 $490,000 9 $2,500 $22,500 Re-program all narrowband capable equipment Replace wideband base and repeater stations - add new law sites Replace all wideband control stations Antenna System - Installed 3 $7,500 $22,500 New law sites Licensing - New Coordination 4 $210 $840 New law sites Licensing - Narrowband Only 7 $100 $700 County owned licenses Licensing - Narrowband Only 23 $100 $2,300 Licenses other than county Electrical and Grounding Site Work Contingency Fund Consulting Fees 1 $10,000 $10,000 Upgrade LEC rooftop Percent of Total $137,799 10% of project cost Percent of Total $151,579 11% of project cost Total $1,667,368
51 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 4-7 Notes: base station MTR2000 includes existing county and local equipment. There are 13 repeaters identified in the inventory/survey process, plus two additional units for enhanced coverage. Three base radios are the property of the county (one each for corrections, county highway, county Sheriff). All others are owned by local agencies. 2. Control stations identified include those for: county land, state patrol (receive), county highway, Fergus Falls police and fire, local fire, Pelican, Amor, and ESC. 3. According to the manufacturer, the Otter Tail County ModUcom UltraCom radio console is able to connect to both narrowband and conventional (non-trunked) radio systems and will not require an upgrade. As with any communications site, there are some ongoing maintenance costs. New mobiles and portables usually are covered by a manufacturer s warranty or extended warranty for the first three years. Ongoing maintenance costs are expected to be as follows: Maintenance Costs Item Quantity Unit Cost Extended Notes Maintenance - Repeater Site 13 $864 $11,232 Per radio - monthly cost Maintenance - New Radio 887 $0 $0 Warranty - all replacement equipment Maintenance - Remote Base 13 $864 $11,232 Remote locations - all narrowband ready base Maintenance - LEC LEC narrowband ready control 0 $360 $0 Base/Control stations Maintenance - Existing Console 1 $960 $960 Annual fee Maintenance - Mobile 171 $100 $17,100 Existing narrowband ready mobiles Maintenance - Portable 390 $80 $31,200 Existing narrowband ready portables Total $71,724
52 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 4-8 Option 2 is similar to Option 1 except when it comes to recommendation for law enforcement. Additional time will be required to obtain the necessary new licenses, order, and receive new equipment. Option 2 also requires some additional site work for the installation of new antenna kits at three sites. The specifics of each step and the exact times are vendor dependant. Different manufacturers have varying factory lead times for equipment and local suppliers need time to properly coordinate and assign crews. These steps are to provide a guide to ensure the necessary activities are accomplished. The steps necessary to implement Option 2 are as follows: Conduct a formal, in-depth equipment audit and develop equipment list Contract with one or more vendors for equipment Develop radio and console programming Apply for FCC license modifications for narrowband emissions Apply for new station licenses Install new equipment at all locations Connect new equipment to console Convert end user radios to narrowband Convert fixed stations to narrowband Remove and decommission wideband equipment Implementation Timeline Task Inventory Contract Vendor Develop Programming Apply for License Order Equipment Install Equipment Convert Subscriber Units Convert Repeater Switch Over Decommission Amor Site Month
53 As noted earlier, converting a radio system from wideband to narrowband will introduce some loss of coverage. This will occur in areas where signals are already marginal. Adding stations is one method of enhancing signal coverage. In the case of the Otter Tail law enforcement system it is necessary to first add sites before considering digital radio. For other systems such as the county highway department and county jail facility, no such addition of sites is needed and conversion to digital will gain back lost coverage and then some. Digital radio, however, is not appropriate for the ESC system. This system is the primary tone and voice paging for Otter Tail County. The available digital radio systems today do not support tone and voice paging. Since this type of paging is important to the fire departments in the county, it should remain in place as an analog system. Since ESC also acts as the primary method for fire agencies to communicate to dispatch, fire would continue to operate in analog mode. Even so, fire systems should also convert their subscriber units to P25 radios. A requirement of the P25 digital radio standard is full backwards compatibility with older analog radio systems. By using a digitally enabled P25 radio for all services, interoperability between systems is ensured. When moving to P25 radios, fire and other agencies typically do not require encryption and other law enforcement type operations. We have presented the cost of radios as two separate items, one for law enforcement, and one for all others. The MNSEF and point-to-point systems are also analog radio systems, and under Option 3 will only be upgraded to narrowband. As with the previous options, the Otter Tail County dispatch console is, according to the manufacturer, currently capable of working with digital control and base stations. There is no console upgrades needed to implement Option 3. Pros The advantages to Option 3 are as follows: Meets the letter and spirit of the FCC rules and regulations Provides greatly improved coverage countywide Improved building penetration
54 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 5-2 Addresses age of equipment issue Addresses most noise and interference issues Can be accomplished by existing suppliers of services and equipment Able to utilize existing tower sites Digital portions can be installed before changeover of field equipment Adds the ability to provide clear, simple encryption with no loss of coverage Adds the ability to provide unit ID to transmission P25 system is fully backward compatible and interoperable with analog radios Additional features available from mobile/portable via keypad Cons The disadvantages to Option 3 are as follows: Higher cost than previous options Adds additional operational expense for maintenance and power at added sites Some changes and updates must be made to parts of a live system Requires re-licensing all sites and the addition of law enforcement sites Requires digital upgrade of the current dispatch console Requires additional maintenance procedures for proper operation Requires environmental and electrical upgrades for installation Requires additional end user training
55 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 5-3 Option 3 provides additional coverage over that of the existing system for all systems except ESC/paging and MNSEF/point-to-point interoperability. Projected coverage is better than that shown for Option 2. Graphics show: Graphic O3a Law Enforcement Mobile Coverage Graphic O3b Law Enforcement Portable Coverage Graphic O3c Highway Department Mobile Coverage Graphic O3d Corrections Department Portable Coverage Digital signals also provide clear signal to the edge of their coverage area. This results in better in-building useable signal penetration. One again, insets are provided for reference to the existing signal coverage areas.
56 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 5-4 Graphic O3a Law Enforcement Mobile Coverage Graphic O3b Law Enforcement Portable Coverage
57 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 5-5 Graphic O3c Highway Department Mobile Coverage Graphic O3d Corrections Department Portable Coverage
58 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 5-6 Under Option 3, the paging system is addressed as part of the ESC radio system. The only additional costs are to replace the personal pager units that are not capable of operation in narrowband.
59 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 5-7 Option 3 involves enhancing the capabilities of the Otter Tail County radio system beyond that of Option 2. The additional sites needed for Option 2 are required in Option 3 as along with some additional new equipment. Under this option, all mobiles, portables, and base radios would be replaced with P25 digital capable radios. The same is true of all repeater stations. According to direct discussions with the ModUcom Midwestern representative, the Otter Tail County dispatch console is currently capable of operating with conventional (non-trunked) P25 digital radio systems. No upgrade is anticipated. The move to all digital capable radios is to provide necessary interoperability between all systems and provide maximum capability for mutual aid response. Since P25 digital radios must be capable of operating in an analog mode, they provide interoperability functions. There are 23 radio station licenses with a combination of 83 frequency and sites for local agencies. The possibilities for combining digital and analog systems here are nearly infinite. For budgeting purposes, we have considered any license with only ESC, MNSEF, point-to-point, or state fire frequencies as being eligible for the APCO $100 per call sign coordination fee. All others are budgeted as requiring a new digital license. This allows planners to choose how they will configure their systems knowing a maximum budgetary figure. Based on the previously identified Otter Tail County equipment lists, the costs for exercising this option are on the following page.
60 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 5-8 Enhanced Digital VHF System Cost Overview Item Quantity Unit Cost Extended Notes Radio - Mobile VHF/UHF with Install Radio - VHF/UHF Mobile Encrypted 353 $2,300 $811,900 Replace all non-law mobiles Replace all law enforcement 85 $3,300 $280,500 mobiles Radio - Portable VHF/UHF 380 $1,000 $380,000 Replace all non-law portables Radio - VHF/UHF Portable Encrypted 182 $3,000 $546,000 Radio - Digital Base Station 56 $10,000 $560,000 Replace all law enforcement portables Replace 47 base and 9 control stations Antenna System - Installed 3 $7,500 $22,500 New law sites Radio - Quantar Repeater (Analog and Basic Digital) 15 $18,000 $270,000 Licensing - New Coordination 21 $210 $4,410 Licensing - New Coordination 57 $210 $11,970 Replace all repeaters - add 2 new law sites Per-frequency, per sitecounty owned Per-frequency, per site noncounty Licensing - Narrowband Only 3 $100 $300 Per call sign - county owned Licensing - Narrowband Only 6 $100 $600 Per call sign non-county Electrical and Grounding Site Work Contingency Fund Consulting Fees 1 $10,000 $10,000 Upgrade LEC rooftop Percent of Total $289,818 10% of project cost Percent of Total $318,800 11% of project cost Total $3,506,798 Under Option 3, the replacement of ESC base and repeater stations has been included to make the radios P25 compatible. They will normally operate in the analog mode.
61 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 5-9 As with any system, some specific maintenance costs must be considered. Typically the radio maintenance does not apply until after the equipment warranties. In the case of Option 3, most equipment will be installed new. With the exercise of a three year extended warranty, maintenance cost for the radio equipment should be minimal. Below are the general maintenance costs that can be expected for new equipment. Item Quantity Unit Cost Extended Notes Maintenance - Repeater Site 13 $864 $11,232 Per radio - monthly cost Maintenance - New Radio 887 $0 $0 Maintenance - Remote Base 13 $864 $11,232 Maintenance - LEC Base/Control 0 $360 $0 Warranty - all replacement equipment Remote locations - all narrowband ready base LEC narrowband ready control stations Maintenance - Existing Console 1 $960 $960 Annual fee Maintenance - Mobile 171 $100 $17,100 Maintenance - Portable 390 $80 $31,200 Existing narrowband ready mobiles Existing narrowband ready portables Maintenance - Encryption Add-on 276 $240 $66,240 All law enforcement radios Total $137,964
62 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 5-10 Option 3 builds on Option 2 that it starts with the enhanced coverage provided by additional law enforcement sites. This option can be partially completed with new equipment, making the transfer of live systems very rapid. More and more sophisticated equipment is required for Option 3 and additional time should be allowed for delivery. More end user equipment is being purchased to replace existing equipment, so additional time will also be required for programming. Digital radio operates slightly differently from analog and some end user and dispatch center training should be anticipated. The specifics of each step and the exact times are vendor dependant. Different manufacturers have varying factory lead times for equipment and local suppliers need time to properly coordinate and assign crews. These steps are to provide a guide to ensure the necessary activities are accomplished. The steps necessary to implement Option 3 are as follows: Conduct a formal, in-depth equipment audit and develop equipment list Contract with one or more vendors for equipment Develop radio and console programming Apply for FCC license modifications for narrowband and digital emissions Apply for new station licenses Install new equipment at all locations Connect new equipment to console Activate digital systems Train users and dispatch staff Replace end user radios with P25 radios in analog mode Convert analog stations to narrowband Activate digital system and switch over Remove and decommission wideband equipment
63 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 5-11 Implementation Timeline Task Inventory Contract Vendor Develop Programming Apply for License Order Equipment Install Equipment Convert Subscriber Units Convert Repeater Train Staff Switch Over Decommission Amor Site Month
64 This option involves converting most operations from the current analog radio system over to the Minnesota ARMER system. Doing so requires the use of different radios at different sites. As a digital trunked radio system it does not provide the ability to do tone and voice paging, so the existing ESC/paging system must be moved to narrowband and left in place. Otter Tail County does have a unique opportunity with regard to the paging system. The ARMER sites are located relatively close to the existing paging sites. The state has expressed a willingness to work with counties to co-locate equipment. By joining ARMER and relocating the paging sites to ARMER sites, Otter Tail County may be able to reduce overall operating costs for the paging system. The county would no longer need to maintain the older ESC/paging sites. While plans are still in a state of flux, the state has set aside funds to provide for interoperability with non- ARMER radio systems. Choosing this option would not remove the ability to interoperate with neighboring jurisdictions that chose not to move. It is GeoComm s understanding, based on discussions with state ARMER representatives, that the methods, locations, and costs of legacy system interoperability are not currently decided by the state. Until such a time as those specifications are reasonably complete, no additional discussion of interoperability can proceed. Otter Tail County is in a unique position in that the ESC/paging system handles both voice and paging on VHF. This system is to remain intact as digital radio systems today do not allow for tone and voice paging. This system provides Otter Tail County a no-additional-cost gateway to legacy systems. Pros The advantages to Option 4 are as follows: Meets the letter and spirit of the FCC rules and regulations Provides improved coverage countywide Improved building penetration Addresses age of equipment issues Addresses most noise and interference issues Addresses capacity issues
65 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 6-2 Improves system interoperability Provides ability to grow by adding talk-groups rather than physical equipment Digital can be installed while current system is in place Adds the ability to provide clear, simple encryption with no loss of coverage Adds the ability to provide unit ID to transmission Additional features available from mobile/portable via keypad Infrastructure maintenance moved to state True wide area coverage Cons The disadvantages to Option 4 are as follows: Higher cost than other options Need to develop one county owned site Training of field and dispatch staff required Requires replacement of the current dispatch console Complexity of system
66 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 6-3 Option 4 provides a new system, using different towers and offering a different coverage pattern. The state has designed the system for a minimum of 95 percent countywide mobile coverage. In the case of Otter Tail County, the state is projecting 97 percent mobile coverage. A more limiting factor is that of portable coverage. While the state has provided a predicted coverage map for mobile radios, GeoComm has found that local agencies are often concerned with the ability of first responders to use handheld or portable radios. The coverage projections developed by GeoComm predict the ability of lower powered portable radios to talkback to dispatch from on-the-street locations. We also recognize that there are locations in the county requiring better coverage than is necessary for a state vehicle. In the case of Otter Tail County, we have identified one such area in the east-central portion of the county, and presented the cost of filling that coverage hole with one additional site. The following coverage maps are presented here: Graphic O4a Basic mobile radio coverage as depicted by the State of Minnesota Graphic O4b Basic mobile radio coverage as depicted by GeoComm Graphic O4c GeoComm graphic predicting coverage for portable radios on the street Graphic O4d Projects portable coverage with the addition of one county-supplied site Graphic O4e Projects paging coverage from relocated paging sites including the new, county owned site With the exception of the paging system, this represents entirely new technology. The current system graphics do not apply in this case, except for paging. For comparison, the original paging system graphic is inset. The interoperability channels are unchanged from Option 2. Note: For the State of Minnesota graphic, green depicts excellent mobile and portable coverage; blue shows excellent to good mobile coverage; white indicates unpredictable coverage.
67 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 6-4 Graphic O4a State Projection Mobile Coverage Graphic O4b GeoComm Mobile Radio Projection
68 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 6-5 Graphic O4c GeoComm Projection Portable Coverage Graphic O4d GeoComm Projection Portable Talk-in with County Site
69 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 6-6 Graphic O4e GeoComm Projection Pager Coverage
70 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 6-7 The State of Minnesota has identified seven sites inside Otter Tail County and four sites outside the county to provide 97 percent mobile radio coverage for Otter Tail County. Even with these 11 locations, Otter Tail County will have one area that appears to have minimal coverage. This area is located between the ARMER sites named New York Mills and Henning. Note that the site named Henning is actually located in or near the City of Parkers Prairie. As noted above, GeoComm has provided coverage maps that predict the portable on-the-street coverage from this system and find the same area with minimal coverage. To fill this area it will be necessary for Otter Tail County to install a full ARMER site near the City of Ottertail, Minnesota. This site and the portable radio coverage that can be expected with its addition are presented in the coverage graphics. The state supplied infrastructure in Otter Tail County lists five channels supplied at each site. The county has no cities with populations exceeding 20,000 but does have a reasonable expectation of requiring more than ten talk-groups for county, city, township, medical, and other public safety related radios. By the guidelines provided by the State of Minnesota, this would require an additional channel (radio) at each of the sites inside Otter Tail County. This need has been included in the cost chart. At this point we will note that the ARMER site information is provided by the State of Minnesota. This is a design-build project and therefore changes to the plan may occur at any time. The site names and locations are the latest supplied as official locations. There are ongoing discussions throughout the state and have been several changes incorporated into these documents. It is the opinion of GeoComm that any changes in the near future will be of such a nature that they do not materially affect planning for joining ARMER. We would expect the net result of any such adjustments to be a minor relocation of fair versus good signal strengths. Tower Site Development To provide enhanced coverage for Otter Tail County one additional tower site will need to be developed. A preliminary search of FCC databases shows only one existing commercial or governmental site within a five mile radius of the proposed site. The tower, located east of Bluffton provides coverage for much of the affected area. At this time we cannot represent that any specific tower is available for lease or if it is structurally able to support the necessary equipment for a county ARMER site. However, it is encouraging that a tower does
71 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 6-8 exist. We have priced the ARMER enhancement in a worst-case scenario, where the county would construct a new site. 800 MHz Repeater Equipment The ARMER system is a computer controlled radio network and therefore designed for specific repeaters and control stations. While the P25 radio system standard is expected to one day allow interchangeability in trunking system equipment like it does today with end user equipment that time is not yet here. We have provided pricing for repeaters and ARMER equipment that is approved by the State of Minnesota for connection to the system. These prices are from state contracts, and county and local government agencies are able to purchase from those contracts. 800 MHz System RF Channel Capacity The state has specified that the ARMER system is equipped to provide up to ten local talk-groups in a county. Otter Tail County agencies are expected to require more than the maximum of ten talk-groups. The state also specifies an additional radio channel for each city with a population of 20,000 or more. According to the Otter Tail County published figures, no city in the county today reaches a population of 15,000. We have provided pricing for the addition of one additional radio at each of the seven state sites inside Otter Tail County. We have not included additional channels at the border sites, as the load from Otter Tail County is not expected to require additional capacity. PSAP Radio Console Equipment Operating on the ARMER system requires the PSAP dispatch radio console to be able to talk through the ARMER repeaters and system. The two methods to accomplish this are with traditional control stations located at the PSAP or a connection directly to one of the ARMER master sites. Since each individual talk-group requires a separate control station, it is very easy to overload a site such as the LEC rooftop in Otter Tail County. New control stations also need excellent environments, normally requiring heat and air-conditioning plus very specific ground systems. Once more than a few talk-groups are enabled on the console, this solution becomes difficult if not unworkable. The preferable method of operation is to connect the LEC to the ARMER system and allow the dispatch console to operate via that connection. There is still a need for a few emergency backup control stations, but not so many as to create interference. GeoComm has provided a cost for a microwave connection to
72 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 6-9 the nearest ARMER site. This will allow the full functionality of the system to be present at the dispatch console. There are two available consoles that will operate connected to the ARMER system. One is the Motorola Centracom Gold Elite, the other is Motorola MCC7500. The Gold Elite is now only being sold for existing trunking systems and is believed to be scheduled to be discontinued. We have therefore priced the MCC7500 for Otter Tail County. Even with a change to an ARMER capable console, we are including the addition of several 800 MHz control stations at the LEC. These are not intended for normal operation, but will supply a redundant method of operation, backing up the main console connection. In the event of a connectivity failure to the ARMER trunking control site, limited channel capacity and specific talk-groups will still be available at the console. This will provide emergency backup for the system. System Use and Talk-group Planning The ARMER system provides shared operational channels, called talk-groups, to provide service for users. In moving to the ARMER system, it will be necessary for Otter Tail County to consult with state system administrators to develop the full needs of the county. To properly use the system, both the dispatch staff and the first responders will need training in the rules, regulations, and methods of operation for this system. There are several options available for this training, including use of the equipment vendor. GeoComm has found that other contractors not associated with GeoComm or the equipment vendors are currently providing superior quality training in the state. We have priced training in the cost section using these local contractors. The use of talk-groups rather than physical channels allows agencies to better tailor their radio operations. With the number and type of agencies in Otter Tail County, we expect to see new groupings develop. The ability of radios to scan through talk-groups will allow those needing to monitor several agencies that option, while keeping unrelated conversations separate. A preliminary review shows the following to be a possible set of talk-groups. All talk-groups would be available on the county dispatch console, potentially available in any vehicle or portable, and at any base station. This would provide full agency interoperability, while allowing each agency to conduct routine business free of interference from other users. To develop the actual talk-group list and unit identifiers, affected agency representatives would coordinate with the State of Minnesota ARMER administrator. The resulting talk-group and unit ID configuration
73 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 6-10 would be initiated before actual ARMER operation by Otter Tail County began. The list below is simply an example used to illustrate the possible groupings. It also serves to demonstrate the likely need for more than ten county talk-groups. Sample Talk-group Allocation Agency Group Talk-group 1 Otter Tail County Sheriff Sheriff Main 2 Sheriff Tactical 3 Fire Dispatch Fire Main 4 Fire Tac 1 5 Fire Tac 2 6 Medical Dispatch Medical Main 7 County Highway Highway 8 Fergus Falls Fergus Falls Fire Main 9 Fergus Falls Fire Backup 10 Fergus Falls Police 11 Fergus Falls Police Tac 12 Local Cities Northeast Main 13 Northeast Backup 14 Northwest Main 15 Northwest Backup 16 Southeast Main 17 Southeast Backup 18 Southwest Main 19 Southwest Backup Interoperability When moving to the ARMER system it will be necessary to continue to work with agencies using other radio systems. The current state of flux with nearby counties, the state system capabilities, and the numerous possible responding agencies makes it impossible to fully predict the interoperability needs of Otter Tail County. The State of Minnesota has indicated to GeoComm that the ARMER system itself will provide interoperability with legacy systems. Unfortunately they have also indicate that how, when, and at what cost has not been determined.
74 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 6-11 As an interim and a long-term backup, GeoComm has included the installation of an ACU/1000 interoperability unit. The pricing is expected to allow for purchase of the unit itself, radios, and antenna systems to allow for its use. This is only one possible unit and its inclusion by model should not be taken to indicate that it is the only brand or model that will work. It is used here as a base for budgeting purposes.
75 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 6-12 The ARMER option for Otter Tail County involves moving all existing voice channels, with the exception of MNSEF and point-to-point, to the ARMER system. To continue providing tone and voice paging, the ESC paging system needs to remain intact, although it can relocate to ARMER tower sites. The voice capabilities of this system can also remain operational, providing interoperability with other counties and agencies not choosing to migrate. Based on the previously identified Otter Tail County equipment lists, and the additional equipment needed to supply one ARMER site and the necessary additional ARMER radio channel for capacity in Otter Tail County, the costs for exercising this option are as follows: ARMER System Costs Overview Item Quantity Unit Cost Extended Notes Console MCC7500 Installed 1 $277,000 $277,000 Direct ARMER connect - 1 position Console MCC Each Position 2 $100,000 $200,000 Additional positions ARMER 6-Pack Multi-cast 1 $275,000 $275,000 Includes all 800 MHz radios at new site Install IntelliRepeater 6-Pack 1 $880 $880 Installation of repeater system - new site ARMER Radio Single Channel 7 $35,000 $245,000 County addition to existing sites Antenna System - Installed 6 $7,500 $45,000 New site plus ESC/MNSEF relocation - each site Tower Top Amp 1 $14,000 $14,000 Required at new site Green-Site 320-foot Tower 1 $275,000 $275,000 New site - land, building, generator ARMER Mobile - XTL $3,500 $297,500 Law enforcement mobiles ARMER Mobile - XTL $2,200 $776,600 Non-law mobile ARMER Portable $2,500 $455,000 Law enforcement portables ARMER Portable $1,500 $570,000 Non-law portable Radio - Control Station $7,500 $75,000 ARMER connectivity backup
76 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 6-13 Item Quantity Unit Cost Extended Notes MHz Radio - Control Station - VHF/UHF Microwave Hop - 6 GHz Low Capacity 3 $2,500 $7,500 2 $85,000 $170,000 ESC/MNSEF/P-P controls at LEC LEC and new site connectivity to ARMER Documents and Permits 1 $25,000 $25,000 Misc. fees Licensing - New Coordination 8 $210 $1,680 Licensing Fees 800 MHz - Non-NPSPAC Electrical and Grounding Site Work Radio - Quantar Repeater (Analog and Basic Digital) Contingency Fund Consulting Fees 13 $210 $2,730 5 sites - ESC, LEC - ESC, Relocated MNSEF/P-P ARMER channels-6 at new site, 1 at each state site 1 $10,000 $10,000 Upgrade LEC rooftop 5 $18,000 $90,000 Percent of Total Percent of Total Total $4,613,597 Notes on cost: Replace ESC repeaters 5 ARMER sites $381,289 10% of project cost $419,418 11% of project cost 1. New antenna systems will be needed for each of the ESC/Paging sites; for the LEC backup 800 MHz radios; for the new county owned site. 2. Law enforcement is expected to require radios capable of encryption and with a higher channel capacity than most other users. Pricing is based on the higher tier radio for law enforcement. 3. The LEC backup 800 MHz radios are not intended as day-to-day operational radios. They are supplied as a level of redundancy for the console connectivity path. 4. Consulting fees are typically dependant on the size of the project and start at approximately 11 percent of the project cost. The anticipated size of this project lowers the percentage. When moving to ARMER, Otter Tail County will need to retain and move to narrowband its current ESC/paging radio system as well as the interoperability channels. A separate heading in this report provides more information on those necessary VHF systems. The cost for that system is included in the above price estimate. As with any electronic system, ongoing maintenance is also necessary. The ARMER system requires both software and hardware maintenance. The maintenance cost for equipment begins after the warranty or extended warranty period is complete. Unlike the other options, the maintenance costs presented here
77 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 6-14 are for the first year of operation under the ARMER system. It is difficult to reasonably predict the costs of maintaining the county radio site and the console. The figures here are estimates for budgetary purposes. In reviewing other contracts and proposals for Minnesota users of similar equipment, annual hardware maintenance after the first year warranty has ranged from approximately $35,000 to over $105,000. This does not include the cost of subscriber units in that figure. Software maintenance is currently a portion of the state ARMER contract. The upgrades and adjustments to software required for the additional site would be handled by the state. The following projection includes upkeep on the ESC VHF radios system as well as other county owned equipment: System Maintenance Item Quantity Unit Cost Extended Notes Maintenance - ARMER System Software 1 $0 $0 Handled by state Maintenance - New Radio 1689 $0 $0 3 year warranty Console Maintenance (MCC7500) 1 $41,300 $41,300 Maintenance - ARMER Site 7 $0 $0 Handled by state Maintenance MHz County Owned 1 $25,000 $25,000 New site Maintenance - Microwave 2 $2,100 $4,200 2 hops Training - ARMER Dispatcher 1 $10,000 $10,000 One course for LEC Training - ARMER First Responder 2 $2,500 $5,000 Fire and Law course Total $85,500 As with any pricing estimate, these figures are the result of GeoComm experience to date. They can be expected to be accurate through the year, but we would caution that inflation figures must be applied as time progresses. This is especially true where shipping of large quantities of material is involved.
78 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 6-15 Introduction GeoComm provides the following information as a plan to move forward with ARMER implementation, should Otter Tail County choose this option. The process by which a county applies for acceptance to the ARMER system has changed significantly over the past year, and the process for acceptance has changed since the first Central Minnesota Regional Advisory Committee (CM-RAC) member counties applied to join the ARMER system. These changes lie mainly in the requirements for documentation for application to the ARMER system. The steps listed below outline the current process for ARMER participation. The first step of this Phase 2 process is for the elected officials of Otter Tail County to pass a resolution accepting the option of full ARMER participation and agreeing to fund the county s share of costs, as generally identified in this report. Upon making this public commitment, Otter Tail County will be required to complete a Participation Plan document for submission to the CM-RAC for approval by the Regional Radio Board (RRB), and finally the State Radio Board (SRB). The final report presented here by GeoComm contains most of the technical information necessary to initiate development of the Participation Plan document. Additional operational information such as specific timelines (based on elected official approval and budget allocations), along with fleet map planning, final mobile and portable radio inventories, and other system design details will need to be added by local staff. GeoComm has observed that some customers can complete the Participation Plan document with internal staff using the data contained in this report; however, others have enlisted the services of a consulting and project management firm. If the county chooses to develop the plan with internal county staff, GeoComm would be available by telephone for questions and limited assistance should the county decide to move forward within 30 days following the final presentation and completion of this study project. Implementation plan elements As noted, the State of Minnesota has implemented a process that must be followed when seeking participation in the ARMER 800 MHz interoperable radio system. The steps include items specific to applying for acceptance to join the system and other items that are common to the implementation of a public safety radio system. We will cover the ARMER planning elements first, followed by a timeline and task list for the implementation, testing, and acceptance of the radio system.
79 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 6-16 ARMER System Implementation Planning Requirements The following requirements are outlined in the ARMER standards, policies, and procedures document: ARMER Standards, Protocols, and Procedures Document Section Managing Participation Sub-Section 1.9a Procedure Title Requesting and Configuring Participation This document can be found on the ARMER Web site: The following steps must be taken to fully participate in the ARMER system: 1. The county must pass a resolution accepting the option of full or partial ARMER participation 2. Once the county has chosen to go with ARMER, they must update the planning document template and submit it to the RRB for review and approval 3. Once the planning document is approved by the RRB, the county will be required to submit the planning documents to the SRB 4. Once the SRB has approved the plan, the county or agency can start taking steps to implement 800 MHz in their jurisdiction Plan Requirements The following requirements must be met in order to receive approval to join the ARMER system: 1. The plan must state how the addition of the entity or entities would impact the ARMER system should that entity be allowed to join 2. The plan meets the operational and capacity constraints of the system 3. The plan follows the most recently adopted plan and standards for the SRB 4. The plan must include the following general elements: a. The type and quantity of equipment being proposed b. Description of PSAP equipment capable of accessing the ARMER system c. A narrative description of the intended use of the ARMER system d. A list of agencies that the county anticipates using or communicating with through the ARMER system e. Specific Items discussed at the ARMER consultants meeting on June 25, 2008: i. Site or channel additions ii. iii. Site equipment additions Frequency plan (list of turn back channels)
80 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 6-17 iv. Number of planned subscriber radios v. Number of talk-groups vi. vii. viii. ix. Preliminary fleet map PSAP consoles (number and type of console, preliminary console configuration) PSAP logging ATIA data requirement x. Contingency backup xi. xii. xiii. xiv. xv. xvi. xvii. xviii. xix. xx. Connectivity (microwave, fiber) Alarm and monitoring Frequency plan Training plan Cut over plans Schedule Interop System administration and management plan Maintenance plans Local system elements, paging if sharing sites with ARMER, not required otherwise Radio System Implementation Overview The following bullet points highlight the process for system implementation, from requesting ARMER participation through system testing and acceptance. The timelines provided for the specific tasks may take more or less time depending on when the county decides to join ARMER, the timeline for acceptance and vendor availability. These elements will generally take 18 months to complete from the initial detailed design review to system acceptance. Develop a formal and complete list of users, both fixed and mobile Develop detailed system implementation plan Prepare a formal State of Minnesota system Participation Plan; present to RRB and SRB; obtain approval from both entities Establish contract with the State of Minnesota for use of the ARMER system Establish contract with vendor for project equipment and services Apply for FCC license modifications for additional site licenses Update ESC licenses for narrowband Replace ESC and pager equipment with narrowband Install new equipment at all locations
81 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 6-18 Connect new equipment to console Activate ARMER systems Replace end user radios Convert analog ESC stations to narrowband Remove and decommission wideband equipment The following timeline is general in nature and represents the average time for radio system implementation. Actual time will depend on the actual elements that are implemented along with the schedules of outside vendors and the State of Minnesota. Implementation Timeline Task Month Formal Inventory/User List Detailed System Plan State Plan Processing Contact with ARMER Contract with Vendor Apply for New Licenses Apply for Narrowband Licenses Replace ESC/Pager Equipment Install New Equipment Connect to Console Activate ARMER Replace End User Equipment Convert ESC to Narrowband Accept System Remove/Decommission Old System
82 Otter Tail County provides tone and voice paging on a countywide basis from four sites, Erhard, Perham, Vining, and Fergus Falls. As with voice radio systems, this paging radio system must be converted to narrowband operation by January 1, The current and expected coverage of this system is appropriate for the Otter Tail County agencies and does not require additional sites or major modifications. It should be understood that this paging system would need to be upgraded and maintained regardless of the option Otter Tail County chooses for its voice system. Trunked radio systems such as the ARMER system do not presently support tone and voice paging. While manufacturers are considering options, none is foreseeable at this time. Pros Meets the letter and spirit of FCC rules and regulations Provides continued tone and voice paging capability Minimal change in equipment No additional site costs No staff training Cons Some loss of clarity in marginal reception areas Cost of replacement equipment Transition must be done on a live system
83 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 7-2 The following depict the projected coverage of the Otter Tail County paging system. The first map presented in this section displays the area that a personal pager can be expected to receive a signal from the dispatch office. Since pagers can only receive signals, we have only provided one map. This projection is for a pager on the street, worn on the hip. Marginal areas (in red and white) can expect degraded performance inside buildings.
84 Public Safety Radio Communication Project 7-3 Graphic Pa Narrowband Coverage from Current Pager System Otter Tail County also has the option of relocating its ESC/pager system to the closest ARMER towers. This would allow the county to place the new equipment in an excellent radio environment and consolidate maintenance costs for that system. Relocating during an upgrade would also allow the county to move the paging system to narrowband without disrupting the operation.
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