Voters Approve $4.5 Million Radio Spend

Weston Today photos

Voters at a Special Town Meeting on Wednesday evening, June 7 approved a $4.5 million draw from the Town’s unreserved fund balance to finance a new land mobile radio system for emergency responders.

The vote was unanimous.

“This is enormous, just enormous,” said Weston Volunteer Fire Chief John Pokorny.

Around 100 people attended the meeting, which was required given the size of the expenditure.

Moderator Robert Uzenoff began the meeting with the rules and required formalities. First Selectwoman Samantha Nestor made the motion to consider the matter. She was followed by Communications Center Director Larry Roberts, the primary architect of the plan to transition Weston’s emergency communication system to the state network, which will provide upgraded equipment and long-sought interoperability with neighboring mutual aid towns.

Mr. Roberts talked through the specifics of the proposal in terms of need, features, and costs, a presentation he has given numerous times in one venue or another for almost a year. (Side note: Mr. Roberts was appointed Director of Public Works and Facilities on June 1.)

Officials also on hand to answer questions from the public were Rone Baldwin from the Board of Finance, Town Finance Director Rick Darling, the chiefs of Weston’s police, fire, and EMS services, and Nicholas Bamonte, one of the Town’s attorneys. There were no questions.

After months of active consideration of the project and years of anticipation, the matter appears to have been such a slam dunk that when Mr. Uzenoff called for discussion, no one spoke. So the question was called and the voice vote was taken.

With luck, the town will get back as much as $1.5 million in financial assistance from the federal government and the state, but that support is contingent on favorable action by the Congress and the State Bonding Commission in the weeks or months ahead.

The new land mobile radio system should be installed and fully tested by late 2024.

Mr. Uzenoff

Ms. Nestor

Mr. Roberts

Related Stories:

May 19, 2023:  Special Town Meeting, June 7

March 13, 2023:  Decision Nears for Emergency Communications

March 11, 2023:  A Letter to the Editor from Ms. Nestor about the project

February 13, 2023:  Podcast: Ms. Nestor and Mr. Roberts discuss the project

October 22, 2018:  Public Safety Project, Part 2

Also in Weston Today...