Eleven Texoma counties are getting an early Christmas gift this year. $100,767 dollars of unused state money will go to benefit area counties. This money was originally intended to go towards a state training program, but the money went untouched and returned back to our area to be used for homeland security purchases. During a meeting Monday afternoon NORTEX Regional Planning Commission met with county representatives to make a decision on what to do with the funds.
It's not everyday thousands of dollars just pop up out of nowhere, but it happened.
"In the latter part of November we became aware of some additional dollars that were coming down for homeland security," said Executive Director of Nortex Regional Planning Commission, Dennis Wilde.
A meeting was planned for Monday December 19 to make a final decision on what to buy with it.
Each county plus the City of Wichita Falls will receive 10 handheld radios all compatible with one another. It's up to each county to decide where to distribute the radios but Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom says it's likely each emergency management officer will get one. He sees the rest going to various departments, specifically firefighters.
"They'll help the firemen in their own local area. If someone comes from Childress to help us or we go there these radios will help with the interoperability requirement," said Judge Gossom.
When ravaging wildfires struck Texoma our area saw various fire departments come in throughout the state. Sometimes communication could have been better.
"Some other natural or manmade disaster where you bring in people from other areas these radios will help bridge that communications gap," said Judge Gossom.
These radios are an early Christmas gift that will go a long way in Texoma.
All the paperwork will need to be finalized by December 31. The equipment should be in within the next few months.