Hanceville approves funding for emergency communications equipment damaged by lightning

Hanceville City Hall (Cullman Tribune file photo)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Hanceville City Hall was struck by lightning last Saturday, leading to emergency communications equipment being disabled. The Hanceville City Council held a special-called meeting Thursday to approve the funding needed to replace the equipment.

Hanceville Police Chief Bob Long explained, “If it wasn’t a direct hit, it was in the immediate vicinity. It fried three quarters or more of our electrical equipment. We are actually operating our dispatch now off walkie-talkies. All of our fire and medical calls are coming in from county fire. The systems we were using are fixing to be obsolete so they don’t really want to replace with something that’s going to be obsolete in a year.”

The council heard from a representative from Sharp Communication & Security Solutions, who provided a quote for the cost to replace the damaged equipment with upgraded equipment from Motorola. The estimated cost is $84,784. The upgraded equipment is faster and would include greater back-up capabilities in case of emergency.

Hanceville Mayor Kenneth Nail said, “I don’t want there to be any delay in getting help to people.”

The cost of the new equipment will be partially covered and possibly fully covered by insurance once the City’s insurance company has made its determination on the damage from the storm.

Due to the situation and the potential risk to public safety, the City was not obligated to advertise for bids to replace the equipment. The council voted unanimously to approve the quote.

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Christy Perry