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City of Forney purchasing new radio system for police and fire

Police Chief Rick Barnes addresses the City Council.
Police Chief Rick Barnes addresses the City Council.
Sherri Thornhill

Forney's public safety departments will be receiving a much needed new radio system. The City Council met on July 16 to discuss the new system for the City of Forney Police and Fire Departments. Not only did they agree to make the purchase, but the City has enough money to pay for the new radio system in full.

The current VHF radio system has worked intermittently, which put first responders at risk. Police Chief Rick Barnes told the Council that DFW Communications has worked to put together a much better radio system. DFW Communications has also offered to give the City a “trade-in value” for the current system. The previous radios cost $200,000 and DFWC has offered to pay $269,000 as the trade-in value.

City staff considered two options for paying for the new radio system. They received two 10-year leasing quotes with the best quote offering a 2.44% interest rate. The annual payment for the radio system would have been $166,330. Director of Administrative Services, Leigh Corson, told the Mayor and Council that staff assessed another option, paying for the system in full.

Corson explained that due to better than expected sales tax revenue and “developmental activity,” the City can use $1,400,000 from the General Fund unassigned fund balance to pay for the new radio system. The unassigned project fund will still have a $2,7000,000 balance even after the radio system is paid in full.

Councilwoman Robbie Powers made a motion to pass the ordinance to purchase the new system. Councilman Ray Stephens seconded the motion and the ordinance was approved unanimously by the Council.

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