Oak Bluffs agrees on emergency communications agreement

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Oak Bluffs selectmen approved a cooperative agreement for emergency communication and dispatch at their meeting Tuesday.

Last year, the Dukes County Sheriff’s Office received $1.5 million in state funding to improve the regional communications network. At April town meeting, Island towns approved over $230,000 in additional funding for the regional communications system.

Town administrator Bob Whritenour has been working with other Island town administrators to develop a regional system for working with the sheriff to review the performance of the emergency communication system.

This agreement also creates two individual advisory committees. The first is the public safety communications advisory board, which is made up of two members from each town representing their fire and police departments, plus two members from the sheriff’s office, and one from Tri-Town Ambulance. The second is a communications finance advisory board made up of one member from each town.

The agreement is good for five years, and then automatically renews, but towns can terminate the agreement by giving a written notice no later than Dec. 15 for the following year. 

Selectmen approved the agreement 3-1. Selectman Greg Coogan was not present at the meeting, and selectman Gail Barmakian voted no, saying there was no formula in place to determine the town’s share for the project.

Tisbury selectmen unanimously approved the agreement Tuesday night.