Manatee County Public Safety Center 2101 47th Terrace East, Bradenton - Training Rooms A & B 2:00 p.m. - March 21, 2017
March 21, 2017 - Special Meeting - Joint Session of Manatee and Sarasota Boards of County Commissioners
Agenda Item #4

Update on the 800 MHz Public Safety Communication System Project


Contact and/or Presenter Information
Richard A. Collins, Sarasota County Director of Emergency Services

Action Requested
Presentation and update on the 800 MHz Public Safety Communication System Project.

Enabling/Regulating Authority

Background Discussion

The Sarasota County and Manatee County partnership on the replacement and upgrade of the 800 MHz Public Safety Radio System continues to produce positive results as it relates to overall project oversight.  The joint project team continues to work with Airbus DS Communications and leads the review and oversight of the project timeline, project pressures, and coordination of final approvals for tower sites in each county.  This coordinated “One Team” approach is key to this project and ensures that the combined synergy produces one voice and consistency in action between the vendor and both counties. 

Currently, the project is at 50% completion.  Throughout the past year the project management team has worked closely with Airbus DS Communications leadership on several key components of the project including:

• System Design Review
• Tower Site Selection
• Factory Acceptance Testing
• Civil Design Work for New Tower Construction
• Civil Construction of New Towers
• System Infrastructure Installation

A number of issues with the civil subcontractor related to excessive change orders, cost increases, quality of work, lack of communication, and general oversight resulted in number of high-level discussions with Airbus leadership in the late fall.  Throughout late fall and early winter, Airbus negotiated with the subcontractor after they completed the design documents for the project. Airbus has procured and finalized a contract with Tower Systems South, Inc. (Tower Systems) for the civil construction of new tower sites.  Tower Systems maintains its Southeast Division offices in Florida and was the contractor for the construction of the Sarasota EOC tower site.

It is expected that Airbus’s change in subcontractor for civil construction will delay the project by approximately 60 days.  It was expected that system acceptance of the new radio system would occur in the 4th quarter of 2017, but is now expected to occur by April 2018. System Acceptance is a significant milestone in the project timeline and is followed by the move of all users to the new system, which will now happen during the spring of 2018.  Although this is a significant impact to the project, the team agrees this is necessary to ensure the delivery of a good quality product at the most competitive price.

Based upon the impacts of using a new civil construction subcontractor, Airbus has updated the project milestones the following dates:

• 3/1/17 – Initiate Civil Construction
• 12/15/17 – Infrastructure Acceptance Testing
• 2/15/18 – Complete Coverage Testing
• 4/01/18 – Final System Acceptance

The project management team remains committed to the success of this project.  Although the move to a new subcontractor delays the project, the team remains confident that Airbus DS Communications has developed a state-of-the-art system that will meet the needs for both counties.  Airbus leadership has committed their top project managers, systems technicians, and support staff to ensure overall success.  Based upon Tower System’s review of the information, we are also confident that they will provide top quality construction at the most efficient cost. 

The project management team will continue to provide regular updates on the project, including any budgetary pressures, construction process, and overall management support from Airbus leadership.

County Attorney Review
Not Reviewed (No apparent legal issues)

Explanation of Other

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  800MHz Radio Presentation Jt BCC Meeting 2-28-17.pdf