Monticello City Council would like some more information about their

share of the cost of enhanced 911 dispatching, before taking any action on

an ordinance that will create a 911 board. The council met for a special

work session on Tuesday, October 9 to hash out some of the details regarding

the ordinance.

County Judge-Executive Greg Rankin attended the meeting to explain the

work that has already been done toward enhanced 911 service. Rankin noted

that the project began in earnest at the first of this year, when two

mappers were hired to map out the county. Since then, they have been busy

mapping every structure in the county, using GPS equipment, and making sure

that there are no roads with duplicate names.

The county's move toward enhanced 911 service was stepped up, when

Homeland Security money became available to purchase equipment for the

dispatch center, which is located in the Monticello Police Department.

The end result, when the process is complete, is that when a call comes

into the 911 dispatch center, the dispatcher will know where that call is

coming from. The address that is displayed on the screen will help emergency

responders find the residence more quickly.

Rankin referred to the ordinance that would create a board to oversee

the 911 dispatching service. According to the proposed ordinance, the board

would consist of seven members, including the Police Chief, the Fire Chief,

the EMS Director and the Sheriff.

The County Judge-Executive would appoint one member and the Mayor would

appoint one member. The final member would be appointed jointly by the

board.

"We see the benefits of this," said Rankin. "The biggest thing is when

people call in during an emergency situation they may not be able to give

good directions or they may not be from here and don't know

directions...This will take care of that."

Rankin noted that with enhanced 911 service, a step would be eliminated

in dispatching an ambulance on an emergency call. At the current time, a

medical call comes into the 911 center at the police station, but then has

to be transferred to the dispatch center at Wayne County EMS. Those

dispatching services will be joined under the new plan.

Councilman Gene Jones asked Rankin about a funding source for enhanced

911 service. Rankin said that under the current plan, the city and the

county split the cost for 911 dispatching‹the county has three full-time

dispatchers at the police station and one part-time dispatcher. The city

employs three full-time dispatchers. The county additionally has four

dispatchers employed at EMS.

Rankin said that with enhanced 911 service, there will be come funding

available each year through wireless phone providers. He said he has heard

several different estimates in regard to what this would be each year but

could not provide a specific figure.

Rankin additionally stated that Stella Pogue would remain director for

911 dispatching. He said that dispatchers who now work at the EMS building

will be cross-trained so they can handle other types of calls, which will

likely mean an additional dispatcher will be available for shifts.

Councilman Dan Daffron asked Rankin if he had checked with other

counties about recurring costs related to enhanced 911. Rankin said that he

had received information from Russell County who said their monthly

recurring costs were about $1,700. Another additional cost would be the

permanent mapping position that would be needed to keep 911 data current.

Jones asked if there was any type of projected budget numbers the city

could look at before making any decision.

"The city has a limited about of money we can spend," stated Jones. "If

the amount exceeds that we would be promising public funds we don't even

have."

The council requested that Rankin provide some rough figures about costs

for enhanced 911 service before taking any action.

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