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LETTERS: Rockdale residents have a unique opportunity to learn more about communications.

As some of our local citizens are aware, the recent RFP (Request For Proposal) on replacing our old analog 911 system here in Rockdale county was canceled before the bids were submitted by the vendors.

This specific RFP would have replaced our analog system with a new digital infrastructure. Basically the federal government is driving this change; nonetheless we must pay for it locally.

The good news is now that the old RFP is dead and gone we have a chance to really take a longer and clearer look at what is available to us and very possibly a better buy for our tax dollars.

The South Rockdale Civic Association will host the first ever national community originated forum on how to acquire P25 communications infrastructure on Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m. The location is the Union United Methodist Church at 4600 Ga. Highway 138 South.

This exciting forum will have a panel consisting of the top national vendors who actually complete these massive and expensive projects that run into the millions. Ours alone was targeted at $4.5 million. However, early reviews of our proposed 911 coverage, based on our original RFP and our three federal licenses, provided maps that indicate the costs may rise to fully develop the needed coverage for our first responders.

The SRCA forum will not be about Rockdale County. Instead we will take this opportunity to develop a plan for all communities in America how to begin and end the process to develop a proper RFP.

Our panel will have leading experts to explain to all who attend, in plain English, where to start this process and how to successfully acquire this extremely expensive infrastructure. Remember there are no 'do-overs.' If you make a mistake and end up with less infrastructure or quality all you can do is, as governments generally do, throw more tax money at the problem and promise taxpayers next time we will do better.

We will have this powerful forum taped and archived on the Internet and trade-based forums where any and all can access for free and put the power of this knowledge in the hands of all public officials who are facing this future complicated project.

The SRCA will make this live opportunity open to all local elected community officials and especially for our sheriff, fire Chief and EMS and SPLOST Committee members. Remember it will be our SPLOST dollars that are targeted to fund our 911 replacement program. We hope they attend, along with invited officials from other Georgia counties.

Officials from the state of Georgia and Georgia Tech will be in our audience to lend a hand if needed. This will be a golden moment for our officials to meet and speak directly to the panelists who are the most powerful people in America on this subject.

This will be a remarkable day for our community and we invite you to come to watch, learn and ask your questions in person.

Any questions please contact us at president@srca.bz

See you on Nov. 15.

-- Don Meyer

President

South Rockdale Civic Association