MARCS aligning at no cost to departments


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE — The Darke County Commissioners and Darke County EMA are working to assist local first responders in making sure their radios are aligned and tuned correctly. Commissioners Matt Aultman and Marshall Combs were present. Commissioner Larry Holmes was at a separate meeting on behalf of the Darke County Commissioners.

According to Mindy Saylor, director of the Darke County EMA, in the past, local departments had to go to their vendors to get radios tested, programed and aligned for the Multi-Agency Radio Communication System (MARCS). Saylor’s department has been working on acquiring the equipment to be able to do this a little closer to home and at no cost to local departments.

Commissioners Aultman and Combs were present for the reading of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was presented by Darke County EMA. Saylor said, “This is the next step for the testing and aligning and programming of MARCS radios for our local first responders, county offices, basically anyone who uses the MARCS radios. Currently, everybody has to go back to their vendors and the vendors charge. After the commissioners agreed to purchase the equipment and bring that in-house, we would recoup our funds within a year just doing county offices, so we are going to open this up, offer it out to all of our MARCS radio subscribers. If they want us to do some of the work for them, we are more willing to do it for them at no charge.”

She said they are hoping to get all of the radios at least on a maintenance program so they can be tuned and aligned. According to the MOU, the MARCS radios should be tested and aligned no more than once a year and it is recommended that this process occur no less than every two years. She expressed the belief that having the radios aligned will allow them to continue to work properly.

It will be up to the local communities and local first responders to determine if they want to participate in this program. If they choose to do so, they can sign onto the MOU.

The commissioners also approved a contract with Miami Valley Community Action Partnership (CAP) to provide 20 percent of the grant received from the Department of Aging for housing assistance services for individuals over 59 years of age. There are no financial requirements for these services, which includes programs and services to support long-term housing security, such as rental/mortgage assistance, utility assistance, counseling and legal aid to prevent homelessness and eviction, home repair and/or home weatherization, air quality improvement, such as residential filtration and indoor heating and air conditioning systems, and assistance in accessing and/or applying for public health benefits or services, such as Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

The county had previously announced projects at the Garst Avenue Government Complex that will provide better inclusivity for residents and employees at the complex. On Tuesday, the commissioners agreed to accept bids for a paving project at the complex that will increase parking. According to Aultman, the new parking lot will be located west of the facility and will create 16-18 parking spaces. Bids are due to the commission office by July 9, 1 p.m.

Commissioners also signed off on an agreement between the Darke County Juvenile Judge and Central Ohio Youth Center. This is an agreement that needs to be renewed each year. It allows the judge to place juveniles with the Central Ohio Youth Center Community Residential Center. The agreement begins July 1 and will run through June 30, 2025. Darke County will have a fee of $215 per day and the county will be charged at the end of each month for juveniles placed at the facility.

The Commission was also renewed as the administrator of the county’s Revolving Loan Fund. This agreement will continue through Dec. 31, 2026. Commissioner Aultman shared this program has been in existence for at least a decade and has helped several local businesses with expansion, including Jafe. When funds are repaid, the county is able to loan out additional funds to businesses for growth and expansion.

Commissioner Aultman joked the county gets the most out of its equipment when they approved a resolution to declare two items as junk. One of the items was a 1953 KitchenAid dishwasher at the Garst Facility Kitchen and the other was a Dutch Electrical Oven at the Michaels Resource Treatment Center (formerly the Darke County Home) that was probably installed when the building was built.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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