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Essex County washes their hands of Bookmobile

Public Safety Committee chairman Randy Preston listens as Emergency Services Director Don Jaquish talks about turning the former Bookmobile into a mobile communications headquarters.

Public Safety Committee chairman Randy Preston listens as Emergency Services Director Don Jaquish talks about turning the former Bookmobile into a mobile communications headquarters.

— Preston added that the work on the new radio system needed to be the top priority of the Emergency Services Department.

“We have a $10 million radio system that has been in the works for years and every day there is another hurdle that comes up with it,” he said. “Donnie's (Jaquish) full attention needs to be on this and the Bookmobile is a distraction.”

“We are putting a lot of resources into this radio system which is going to support our needs,” Connell added. “We are in a situation like this with our transportation department right now and we just have to start saying no.”

Chesterfield Supervisor Gerald Morrow argued that the transformation of the Bookmobile to a mobile command center was not supposed to cost Essex County anything.

“We will not have any money invested into the Bookmobile now nor at any time in the future,” Morrow said. “The resolution says no money on our part. Why should we stop the other counties from this if it is not going to cost us anything. I do not want to be a hinderance to the other two counties.”

Jaquish said the concern was that the CEF board had presented the transfer as an all-or-nothing deal.

“The issue is that the library board has told the three counties that all three must participate or the deal is off,” he said. “Non-participation on our part will lead them to call the whole thing off. I think that it is a good idea and the fire service believes that it is a good idea. We will respect the decision of the board. I don't want to fight this battle over and over again, but I want some closure to this.”

“Franklin is concerned that we will bill them back for our ownership in this and Clinton County just wants this ended,” Board Chairman Randy Douglas of Jay said. “I think that it would be in my best interest to sell the thing and split the money up between the three counties and use it for the libraries.”

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