Oregon Legislature Authorizes Budget for OWIN Project
Published: 7/06/2009
Author: Jeffrey D. Johnson, Executive Director, Western Fire Chiefs Association

Thanks in large part to public safety advocates like you, the Oregon Wireless Interoperability Network (OWIN) Project will receive enough State funding during this new biennium and continue the work of building Oregon a better public safety radio system.

We want to personally thank the Oregon Fire Service and OWIN’s partners for stepping up to demonstrate support for OWIN to the Legislature this session. Your efforts helped the Legislature realize the depth of local, grass roots support for this project.

We are convinced your voice made a significant impact on their decision to authorize an OWIN General Fund budget of $3.5 million and a Capital Construction budget of $192.9 million. Together with the $76 million of bonding for Phase I work approved in January and the $74.5 million approved for transfer from ODOT funding, this session of the Legislature approved a total of $346.9 million for the OWIN Project.

Essentially, this represents the majority of the funding for the entire project and specifically allows us to complete Phase I and carry out Phase II, which includes building the microwave network infrastructure in northeastern Oregon and installing trunked, mobile data and interoperable radio systems in western Oregon.

It is important to acknowledge how difficult it was for the Legislature to construct the State budget under the current economic circumstances. That OWIN should receive support at this time in the Capitol reiterates the importance of what we’re doing.

The OWIN staff is committed to delivering a reliable radio communications system designed to meet our responders’ needs and justify the faith that Oregon’s public safety community placed in this project.

Chief Jeff Johnson, SIEC Chair
Lindsay Ball, OWIN Director/State of Oregon


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