With the system, the city would have about 71 percent of the equipment and county would have 29 percent, and each would pay for their share of usage and maintenance.
(TNS) -- The city of Wichita Falls and Wichita County have found out together is better when the entities can combine forces for area residents.
Wichita County Commissioners discussed during a work session Monday commingling resources and revenue with the city when it comes to law enforcement, tax collection and other areas of business.
City of Wichita Falls Information Technology Director Blake Jurecek spoke to the court about the possibility of the county coming onboard with the city's radio infrastructure.
Jurecek said the county could purchase updated portable and mobile radios, as needed, and the city would allow access to their infrastructure at a certain cost annually.
He said the city would have to add three more channels to allow for the surge in radio traffic and the county would pay an amount annually toward capital replacement of equipment, which is needed about every seven years.
With the system, the city would have about 71 percent of the equipment and county would have 29 percent and each would pay for their share of usage and maintenance.
The county was considering purchase of radios through another technology company, but they may wait until Jurecek brings back information to the court about financing and propagation of the system within the county. Working with the city, the county may be able to purchase radios at a lower cost.
An upfront "buy-in" cost to the county would be about $800,000. The county could pay this amount up front, or pay over time through financing.
Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said the project would take time to work into the budget so they are considering socking away a certain amount and going forward with the team effort in two years.
City and county already work together in other areas, such as housing jail inmates. Recent county figures show that it costs about $66 per day to house an inmate and the city chips in $15 of that amount for the county to take in their arrestees.
County officials asked the city about using 4A or 4B tax board funds to go toward a new jail facility, but reportedly were told neither 4A, or 4B funds could be used for the project.
A new shooting range was considered that both entities could use, but expansion of the current range is not possible due to a drainage pipe and high usage by both the police and sheriff's office proved difficult to arrange enough time for everyone.
The city and some surrounding areas were hit with a steep increase from $1 to $2.85 per parcel for using the services of the county for their taxing needs. The cities of Wichita Falls and Electra pay the Wichita County tax office to provide for their taxing services.
In 1993, it was decided that $1 was adequate per taxed parcel, to provide for running the offices. This year, the taxed areas were put on notice in March that the old contract for taxing services would end and there would be a new contract. Tax collection staff worked the numbers and found that $2.85 was a more accurate account of running the office, equipment and staffing to oversee these services.
County and city will work together again as they hold a benefit 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Friday for scholarships to the children of one city worker who was killed and another who was gravely injured during an accident last week. The benefit will be at the Elks Lodge and lunch will be served for donation and is open to the public.
©2016 the Times Record News (Wichita Fallas, Texas) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.