(By Delegate Stemple, Amores, Angotti, Ashley, Beane, Boggs, Butcher, Cann, Caputo, Coleman, Dalton, Davis, Douglas, Evans, Facemyer, Flanigan, Frederick, Harrison, Houston, Hunt, Jenkins, Kominar, Kuhn, Laird, Leggett, Louisos, Mahan, Manchin, Manuel, Martin, Mattaliano, Mezzatesta, Modesitt, Perdue, Pethtel, Prunty, Romine, Rowe, Shelton, J. Smith, Spencer, Stalnaker, Thompson, Trump, Tucker, Varner, Warner, C. White, H. White, Williams, Willison and Yeager)

Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to make a study of the effectiveness of statewide emergency communications.

Whereas, Six State agencies own and operate 218 tower sites for the operation of radio signals and service, namely the Division of Natural Resources, the State Police, the Division of Highways, Emergency Medical Services, West Virginia Educational Broadcasting and the Division of Forestry, none of which provide any statewide fire or emergency medical service frequency; and
Whereas, Nine State agencies are operating radio systems, purchasing equipment, paying technicians and utilizing many different vendors, suppliers and other such services, all of which involves obvious duplication of efforts and services; and
Whereas, The State must find a way to integrate fiber optic cables being installed on the interstate highways into our communications system which will save money that would have been spent on towers; consolidation of the towers and coordination of radio systems with one lead State agency could save the taxpayers millions of dollars annually, as has been demonstrated in the state of Virginia; and our ultimate goal should be improving the effectiveness of emergency communications statewide, while reducing overall cost to the taxpayers; and
Whereas, There exists no official supervision or coordination of the various radio systems used by the State agencies referred to in this resolution by which the communication needs of those agencies could be assessed for the purpose of standardization and modernization; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to review, examine and study the effectiveness of emergency communications statewide and the radio tower systems now in use by the various State agencies which own the 218 tower sites with the ultimate goal of reducing overall cost to our taxpayers while making the emergency communications in this State more efficient and make recommendations regarding a comprehensive program of standardization and modernization of emergency communications statewide; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, 2001, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.