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Old Bookmobile may become tri-county communications hub

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.

— Three counties that have funded the former Bookmobile may get the vehicle for use as a mobile communications and command post.

At the Essex County Public Safety Committee meeting June 11, Emergency Services Director Don Jaquish said the counties of Franklin and Clinton approached him about using the former Bookmobile, which was operated by the Clinton-Franklin-Essex Library System, as a mobile command post which would be able to coordinate different radio systems to allow for better communications.

Jaquish said that the proposal would not add any expenses, but supervisors had questions.

“I know that it is free and nice to have, but at some point down the road I am sure that it is going to cost us money,” Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said. “It's a piece of equipment that would be nice to have, but it’s not critical.”

“I have concerns down the road that this vehicle would be in the neighborhood of $400,000 if it had to be replaced,” Wilmington Supervisor Randy Preston said.

“We are cutting costs and selling things and we are going to add on a second-hand bookmobile for a command center,” Chesterfield Supervisor Gerald Morrow said. “We do work with these counties, and want to continue, but the key thing is no costs to the county and no future costs to the county.”

“If there is a cost, we would try to fund it through Homeland Security and funds that we have in place,” Jaquish said. “I can't guarantee that this would not have a cost with it in the future.”

Jaquish said that Franklin County had already signed on to fit the vehicle, while Clinton County would take care of the maintenance.

“If Franklin County will be retro-fitting the vehicle and Clinton will be maintaining it, so I can't see how we could not go along with this,” Morrow said. “The other two counties are going through with this either way, so I would think it would be foolish of us not to go along.”

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