The Monona Fire and Public Works departments will get a new radio system faster than expected – and at a cost savings to boot.

On Monday, March 16, the Monona City Council approved the upgrades.

Originally expected to be upgraded and paid for over a three-year period at a cost of $124,100, the radio system will be completed in one year for a one-time payment of $96,602, a savings of $27,498.

Monona owns and maintains a separate VHF system used by the two departments. AT&T, the service provider, no longer supports copper telephone connections. When part of the system went down last year, it took nearly six months to repair.

Last year, the city began setting money aside to replace the copper telephone lines connecting the three towers with a microwave antenna system.

Because the system had not been upgraded in more than 25 years, additional modifications needed to be made that were originally planned to take place over three years. These included radio consoles, software outdated computers. Also, the VHF analog system would be converted to an IP system.

Doing everything at once also will prevent any outages that could occur when being done separately.

Alders approved spending up to $105,000 on the new system.

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