Washington County sales tax increase timeline not finalized

KNWA

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Even though Washington County voters overwhelmingly passed a 1/4% sales tax increase, it could be a while before the new emergency communications system is installed.

A consultant will come in to make sure Motorola isn’t overselling the AWIN system, said county attorney Brian Lester. Lester said he foresees the tax starting in the beginning of July, but that’s just a tentative date at this time.

Agencies need these new radio towers and consoles soon, said John Luther, the county’s emergency management director.

“We still have a sense of urgency because our system that we’re on today [that] we’ll be replacing, it still has weaknesses,” Luther said. “If it were to go down, we’d truly have a complication in the meantime.”

It’ll take 12-18 months to install the new system, Luther said. The AWIN system is already being used by other groups across the state and Northwest Arkansas. The county will make an official timeline announcement in the coming weeks, Lester said.

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