The five cities in north Fulton County are considering joining together to create a new radio system for their public service departments, Sandy Springs officials said Dec. 4.

Officials in Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Roswell, Alpharetta and Milton have discussed an intergovernmental agreement to install a $16 million digital radio system to replace the current analog system, which is owned by Fulton County, Sandy Springs City Manager John McDonough told members of Sandy Springs City Council.

“Because of public safety issues, we need to move this system forward,” McDonough said.

McDonough said Sandy Springs city officials have been working on the new system for more than two years. Sandy Springs police have long complained the Fulton County radios are outdated.

Council members likely will vote on the intergovernmental agreement at the council’s next meeting, McDonough said, and councilors of the other cities also may vote on it by the end of the year.

City officials plan to ask state lawmakers for legislation during its next session to create a government authority to operate the radio transmission system, McDonough said.

Under the proposed agreement, the amount each city would pay is based on a formula that considers the cities’ populations, area and the number of radios they use. Under the formula, Sandy Springs would contribute $3.9 million, or 24 percent of the total; Roswell would contribute $4.2 million, or 27 percent; Alpharetta would contribute $3.1 million, or 19 percent; Johns Creek would add $2.7 million, or 17 percent; and Milton would add $2 million, or 12 percent.

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.