Johns Creek will not join its neighbors in a $16 million plan to create a new emergency radio system anytime soon.
The City Council voted Monday night to bow out of an agreement with Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Roswell and Milton until equipment purchases for the project have passed through a competitive bid process.
Monday’s vote means the other four north Fulton cities will have to redraft the agreements they’ve already signed and absorb the $2.7 million share Johns Creek was scheduled to contribute. Or, they can accede to the request for bids and delay the project another several months.
All five cities agree public safety workers are relying on the county’s 20-year-old emergency radio system, which has long been in need of upgrades. Occasional outages leave police and firefighters without communication for minutes and sometimes hours.
Johns Creek City Manager John Kachmar told council members that the other cities had been exerting pressure to sign the agreement by Jan. 18. He described the process as “bullying, bullying with bad facts in front of them.”
The other cities have argued that safety concerns require the project move forward quickly. State law allows local governments to use price quotes from state contracts to bypass the local bidding process in many cases.