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Minutes 2009-12-17 PDF Print

SE MN Radio Advisory Committee

Meeting Minutes

Thursday, December 17, 2009

1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Rochester Public Utilities

4000 East River Road N.E.

Rochester, MN


1)  Meeting was called to order by Chair Darnell at 13:07 Hours.


In Attendance:                                                            

Mike Ask/Fillmore County                                          Tim Heroff/City of Rochester

Mark Harig/Freeborn County                                       Dave Thomson/City of Rochester       

Scott McNurlin/Goodhue County                                Rodney Bartsch/Wabasha County

Nate Timm/Goodhue County                                       Brenda Wodele/Wabasha County EM

Scott Yeiter/Houston County                                       Paul Bostrack/City of Winona                                                

Mark Darnell/Olmsted County (Chair)                         Dave Brand/Winona County                                       

Judy Indrelie/Olmsted County                                                 Michael Peterson/Winona County                                           

Rick Freshwater/Olmsted County                                Tom Hannon/DECN SRB       

Terry Waletzki/Olmsted County                                              Tim Lee/MNDOT                               

Barb Brewington/Rice/Steele County                           Steve Borchardt/State of MN DECN               

Jean Westberg/Rice/Steele County                               Jeff Nelson/PSC Alliance


2)  Guest Welcome and Introduction


3)  Approval of Agenda

Bartsch requested to add “Request to Add Alternate for Wabasha County” under item “d”.

Motion by Harig/Yeiter to approve today’s revised agenda.  Motion carried unanimously.


4)  Approval of Minutes for the November 19, 2009 Meeting:

Motion by Bartsch/Harig to approve the November 19, 2009 minutes as written.   Motion carried unanimously.


5)  Open Issues

a)  Goodhue County Progress Update – Scott McNurlin

Working with MNDOT for solution to Frontenac tower, an additional site.  Had planned to use an existing structure until found out cost to do so.  Hope to have resolved by end of January and transition to system in early spring. 


b)  Freeborn County Progress Update – Sheriff Mark Harig

Have signed contract with Motorola.  Will do detailed design document scheduling microwave installation and components that need to be installed in Dispatch.  Hope to be on the system September-October.  Cuts were made from their proposal; hospital radios were cut, met with hospital personnel and they will pay for them.


c)  Rice County Progress Update – Barb Brewington

No changes since last meeting; everything still on course.


d)  Wabasha County Progress Update – Sheriff Rodney Bartsch / Jeff Nelson

     Have received a console proposal from Motorola.  Plan to connect new console up in new building, connect to

     existing Legacy system and plan to be back in first quarter 2010 with full Participation Plan.  First planning meeting

     for console has taken place with Motorola with more to follow.

  • Request to Activate 1 ARMER Talk Group for Testing – Jeff Nelson

Have 20 radio ID’s that have been assigned.  Need to add testing Talk Group in interim until plan is implemented

to existing radios for testing and transition during console installation.  Would consist of Bear Valley simulcast site which serves Wabasha County and the Alma site for approximately 6 radios.

Motion by Heroff/Brand to activate ARMER Talk Group for Testing for the Bear Valley and Alma sites in the interim during console installation and until plan is implemented.   Motion carried unanimously.

  • Request to Add Alternate for Wabasha County – Sheriff Rodney Bartsch

Bartsch requested to add Brenda Wodele, Wabasha County Emergency Manager, as an alternate for Wabasha County.  Darnell felt that this action did not require a motion.


e)  Winona County Progress Update – Sheriff David Brand

Will be going before the County Board on January 5 for approval to go ahead with Participation Plan.  Contractor is in place, just need approval from Board to proceed.


f)  Houston County Progress Update – Scott Yeiter

Still collecting signatures from City Councils.  Looking for contractor to do Participation Plan; hope to hire one soon.


g)  Fillmore County Progress Update – Mike Ask

County Board is meeting next week and believe that they will vote to go with 800 MHz. 


h)  Steele County Progress Update – Barb Brewington

No changes since last meeting; everything still on course.


i)  Dodge County Progress Update

No update was given.


j)  RRB Update (December 14 Meeting) – Mark Darnell

Budget was approved including legal, insurance and finance; majority of meeting spent on this topic.  Accepted three Standards brought to them by the Radio Users Group.  They will hold an additional meeting in March to accommodate approval of Participation Plans that will be reimbursed from grant that expires March 31, 2010.  Meeting date has not been set yet.  Via e-mail Ron Whitehead relayed to the group that it was acceptable to be reimbursed for this expense if Participation Plans are approved by the RRB prior to the end of March.  As milestones are completed, advised to request invoices to submit for reimbursement; suggested withholding 10% back pending completion and authorization by the RRB.  Indrelie also gave a grant update at this meeting.

k)  Operations & Technical Committee Update – Nate Timm

Emergency Communication Network was approved for 100 ID’s to be used for cash radios.  Ramsey County was approved for 1,100 ID’s.  Two Standards were passed.  First Standard defines who owns Talk Groups – agency that creates it, owns it.   Second Standard set up procedures for patching Talk Groups from 800 to VHF.

Northwest region combined and wrote Participation Plan for entire region.  Requested 50 ID’s/County in that region to be used for testing and training.  Before obtaining radios, individual Counties will have to have contract with State and Users training will need to be completed.  Meeker County Participation Plan was approved.  Big Stone County’s plan was also approved, but do not have many users; will just operate off of State towers and will not require much of an upgrade.

MNDOT talked about next steps in VHF plan.  Now that State Patrol is on 800, many users are complaining that they can’t hear them because they only have two VHF towers and had planned to add other VHF sites to 800 towers. 

Talked about recent changes where regions are trying to develop own regional Talk Group layouts.  State expressed concern about doing this; want things to stay the same or be consistent throughout State because of amount of time it would take to reprogram radios if decide to switch to a non-ATAC, PTAC conventional Standard.  Regional User Group has decided to table this for one year.  So far, St. Cloud is the only region to have adopted this.


l)  Grant Update – Judy Indrelie

Two applications for 2010 IEGCP grant have gone through; one is for Emergency Management exercise grant to create exercise to be used locally, regionally and statewide; other is training grant for Talk Groups.

PSIC grant for purchasing radios ends September 30, 2010.  Matching grant in budgets; Indrelie reminded members to make sure to spend it.

Concern was brought up at regional Emergency Managers meeting and at RRB that there are Cities and Counties unable to send people to meetings because it would involve paying overtime.  Indrelie checked with the State to see if IECGP grant could be used to pay overtime and they replied that it could, but the RRB has to approve it.  Borchardt asked if time shifting could be done for these people to avoid paying overtime and Brewington said that it could not in a particular case involving OFD.  Yeiter expressed concern that everyone is going to want to use these funds to pay overtime which could be an issue.  Indrelie advised that this will be brought up to the RRB on February 1 for further discussion along with this concern.

Fillmore, Rice and Wabasha County have not paid their matching funds for PSIC M&A grant.  Indrelie requested that this be taken care of by year-end.

RRB approved using PSIC M&A funds for administering operating expenses for the Board.  Grant ends September 2010.

Participation Plans – if Emergency Managers are not involved, Indrelie urged them to become involved.  2007 Homeland Security funds available until end of March 2010 for reimbursement for Participation Plans.  RRB has to approve plan and invoice must be dated by end of March.  Indrelie needs reimbursement paperwork turned in ASAP in case anything else is needed from the requestor.  RRB will hold an additional meeting on either March 15 or 22 to approve plans; last chance to get RRB approval to qualify for reimbursement.  Any purchases that have been budgeted for or levied for cannot be covered by grant funds.


m)  Interoperability Update / TIC Plan Update – Steve Borchardt / Harry Algyer

Interoperability Update

South Central voted to adopt same regional Talk Group plan as Southeast with exception that Southeast left four open, South Central made those SOA’s.  They are considering same protocols that we have forwarded to RRB, but have not taken action yet.  Will discuss Talk Groups at meeting in Marshall next week.

Ron Whitehead has sent out e-mails to all who have put in for control stations acknowledging this action and advising next steps to take.

PSAP Consolidation Work Group study/report is complete and available on the web; will send website info to Darnell to forward.

Training coordination needs to be addressed ASAP.  McNurlin added that there is $80,000 in PSIC training funds with the RRB that needs to be spent with a deadline of September 2010.   Darnell stated that he sent the draft curriculum out to members and will forward any questions after it has been reviewed.

TIC Plan

Last of Southeast data being entered this week – drafts will be out in January.  Algyer urged Counties to look over drafts and return ASAP to make any corrections. 

Regarding Regional Talk Group discussions, Algyer noted that two other regions are considering Talk Group designs different from the State.


n)  State Update – Tim Lee / Tom Hannon

Lee noted that Dodge Center is still not on the air; need to get microwave through.  Working on couple of sites with Goodhue County, Frontenac site, Kenyon site; waiting for structural back on LaCrescent.   Will be starting land search for two towers in Fillmore County.

Hannon added that an interoperability conference is being planned for end of April 2010 with workshops, general sessions, breakout sessions; will bring in people from neighboring states and Federal government to discuss interoperability and issues that have arisen.  Would like rep from Southeast to assist with putting together program.  Darnell asked for a volunteer; Rick Freshwater volunteered.

Next Statewide Leadership meeting is January 25 in St. Cloud location TBD. 


o)  HSEM Update

No update was given.


p)  Radio Users Group Update – Mike Peterson

Three Standards were approved by RRB (Peterson will e-mail these to members):  SE Interoperability Talk Group; SE 911 Hailing Talk Group and Pursuit Standard.    




q)  Owners & Operators Group Update – Barb Brewington

First meeting took place this morning.  Membership is made up of Dispatch Administrators and supervisors.  By-laws were accepted and officers were elected: Chair: Gary Mulleneaux, Vice Chair: Wayne Betcher; Secretary: Marlys Sorlie.

Meetings will take place at 10:00 a.m. the third Thursday of the month (same day as RAC meets) at Rochester Public Utilities in the conference room.


6)  New Business

<!--[if !supportLists]-->a)      <!--[endif]-->Any New Business for the Good of the Membership

Nothing was brought up for discussion.


7)  Adjournment

Motion by Yeiter/Brand to adjourn the meeting.  Motion carried unanimously.   Meeting adjourned at 13:55 Hours.


Next Meeting Dates

Next Owners/Operators meeting scheduled for Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 10:00 at Rochester Public Utilities.

Next RAC meeting scheduled for Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 13:00 at Rochester Public Utilities.

Next RRB meeting scheduled for Monday, February 1, 2010 at 12:30 at Rochester Public Utilities.


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