ECSO asking state for $4.5 million in funding for emergency radio upgrades

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore.– Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon is looking for $4.5 million in funding.

This comes after Jackson County voters passed a $28 million bond in 2019 to upgrade and replace emergency communications equipment.

But ECSO said more upgrades are needed.

Ashland Representative Pam Marsh said it may be a tough ask from the state legislature, but ECSO needs the funding.

She said Jackson County has already stepped up and the state should take care of the rest.

Legislators want to make sure radio communications are the best they can be in case of a natural disaster.

The funding would be focused in Jackson County, but Marsh said the impact would be felt by all surrounding counties.

She said its important to secure the funding as soon as possible, because of the wildfire risk in the area.

“This is an ask that is very relevant to this period,” Marsh said, “that’s why we’re asking for it in a short session, when it’s harder, because we need the money now.”

Representative Marsh said it’s more difficult to convince the legislature to spend money in the second year of its biennium.

But she prefers not to wait until 2025 to resolve this issue.

Marsh said other local legislators are supporting her in trying to secure the funding.

She said they plan to ask for the funding to be included in an end-of-session budget bill.

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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