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GRU public radio system bill to be settled in March

Published: Feb. 15, 2021 at 6:09 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -A conflict resolution meeting was fiery at first but ended with a proposed date for GRU’s public radio system bill.

The city of Gainesville, GRU, and Alachua County are one step closer to solving a problem involving their shared emergency communications system, operated through GRU-com. A conflict resolution meeting between the groups ended with the three close to a deal to keep the trunk radio system, used by fire, EMS, and police, operating for the rest of the fiscal year.

Last month, the county was given a bill by GRU-com for more than a million dollars more than they had budgeted, saying it was the county’s share of costs associated with system improvements.

The meeting attempted to deal with the issue of how that billing would work and what the city and county owed.

The final bill will be agreed upon by members of the city of Gainesville and Alachua county at a date in mid-March. A proposed price tag by GRU-com would be $2.7 million. The bill for Alachua county would be 53% of that number and for Gainesville, it would be 47%.

The initial discussion about the bill got quite heated from both sides.

Gainesville city manager Lee Feldman spoke about setting deadlines to move forward.

“I just think for GRU-com’s ability... they want answers sooner than later and I think we all function better with deadlines to accomplish that.”

Ed Bielarski started off speaking very passionately but ultimately agreed that the conversation was necessary.

He said, " I want to kind of bring us all back to this conflict resolution because I think there are some interesting points made through this discussion and I don’t want to lose that.”

At the meeting in mid-March, the groups hope to hammer out the final details of any agreement for this year and plan for the future of the system.

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