The Franklin County Commission approved bids for three communication projects totaling $92,254 at its Tuesday meeting.

One project involves installing a microwave network to replace unreliable copper wire circuits buried in the ground, said Vince Zagarri, the county’s 911 director.

The new microwave network will be used by public safety agencies to transmit radio signals, Zagarri said.

Agencies to use the microwave system will include the sheriff’s office, Sullivan Fire District, St. Clair Police and New Haven Ambulance District.

The only bid was from A&W Communications, Eolia, which offered a price of $62,178.

The county currently leases the circuits from AT&T and Fidelity for $10,000 to $12,000 per month, Zagarri said. The savings the county will get from switching to a microwave system should cover the cost of the project within six months, he said. The circuits that will be replaced with the microwave system are in the areas of Gerald, Sullivan, St. Clair and New Haven.

Another project would put backup generators at remote radio tower sites in Lonedell and Gerald. Once this project is done, all of the county’s tower sites will be backed up by generators, Zagarri said.

There were two bids submitted for this project — one from BOCO Electric of Union for $18,400 and another from CASCO Electric of Beaufort, $16,576. Both of those covered the cost of two generators. The county approved the low bid from CASCO.

The generators will backup the radio towers, which Zagarri said are susceptible to power outages in heavy storms.

Presiding Commissioner John Griesheimer agreed that this is an important project to ensure emergency communication can continue in the event of an outage.

The third project involves installing an “uninterruptable” power supply at the sheriff’s office emergency dispatch center.

The bid for this project came in at $13,500, and it was from BOCO Electric.

Zagarri said the sheriff’s office dispatch center now has about 12 small power supply sources, and this project would make operations more efficient by having one.

The power supply sources at the dispatch center now are more than 5 years old, and they are becoming unreliable, he added.