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Sales tax bump in Okanogan County would fund emergency communications

Much of system at "end of life"


A map of Okanogan County radio communications system shows most of its facilities are at "end of life." Only those marked with the lighter markers are "current" in the mountainous county, the state's largest by area, which ranges from over 8,000 feet in elevation to under 800 and is larger than the state of Rhode Island.

Okanogan County voters will be asked on the Nov. 5 general election ballot to approve a tax meant to upgrade emergency communication systems and facilities.

The Okanogan County Sheriff's Office explains the need for the tax by detailing the current state of the system used by fire, emergency management services, and police first responders in Okanogan County.

Existing radio repeater equipment is based on 40-year-old technology at the end of its life, and there are no replacement parts for repairs, OCSO says in a press release. The radio system is crowded due to an increase in the volume o...

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