Council eyes $2.2 million consulting pact for emergency communications system

St. Louis County officials want to partner with an international consulting firm in preparation for the construction of a new emergency communications system.

The County Council was scheduled to take an initial vote Tuesday, after press time, on a contract with RCC Consultants for “project management, consulting and engineering services in connection with procurement and installation of and transition” to a new interoperable radio system.

The contract stipulates that the county will pay RCC, which is headquartered in New Jersey, an amount not to exceed $2.2 million.

Garry Earls, the county’s chief operating officer, has said RCC will help officials prepare a request-for-proposals for the construction of the communication system’s infrastructure. The project should go out for bid by April or May, Earls said recently.

The new system, funded by a 0.1-percent sales tax voters approved in November, will allow all county public safety personnel to communicate with each other by radio using new frequencies provided by the Federal Communications Commission.

Earls has said that county first responders also will be able to radio their counterparts in St. Louis city, St. Charles County and Jefferson County under the new system.

The latter two counties also planned to contract with RCC, he said recently.

Councilmen recently approved an initial appropriation of roughly $2 million from the dedicated sales tax to the county’s Emergency Communications Commission.

Of the $2,004,679 appropriated, $1.5 million will be used to pay for consultant services, and $504,679 will fund the salaries and benefits of six ECC employees.