Van Zandt County updating communication system with federal funds

East Texas News at 6.
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 8:04 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2022 at 10:48 PM CDT
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VAN ZANDT COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Van Zandt County’s communication system is in dire need of an upgrade, according to Judge Don Kirkpatrick.

“We’re looking at about a $10 million project to help the citizens and our first responders for our citizens of Van Zandt County,” says Kirkpatrick. “So while you have the funds lets go ahead and use this money on something we were going to have to have anyhow.”

Kirkpatrick says the county will eventually have to spend money for residents and emergency responders to have better reception in rural areas.

Towers will be placed in select locations throughout the county.

“Rather than purchase it and you raise taxes on the citizens, we have an opportunity; here’s a gift from the federal government,” says Kirkpatrick.

Kirkpatrick mentions that a first responder ending up in a rural area without being able to call for back up could be in a dangerous situation.

“In return it will help the citizens of Van Zandt County when you call 911 and our officers are out in the field, they will have better communication with other departments,” says Kirkpatrick.

Currently the court is working with a company to get a contract signed to see how much the new communication system will cost. The funds the County received must be used before 2025. The county received half of the funds in the summer of 2021 from The American Rescue Plan Act.

The other half of the funds have yet to arrive.

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