911 Board Ready to Move Ahead w/Efficiency Study

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Published on May 14 2013 7:07 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

 

The Effingham County 911 Board Tuesday agreed to move ahead with award of a contract to conduct a study of the 911 system's efficiencies.

There was some discussion of whether to move ahead since it isn't known whether State's Attorney Bryan Kibler has reviewed and approved the contract.  Kibler is away until Thursday.  The Board voted to award the contract and, if Kibler doesn't approve the agreement within one week, to retain a private attorney who does extensive practice in 911.  The motion also approves the private attorney, John Kelly, up to $1,000 should he be utilized.

911 Board members heard that legislation to maintain a surcharge on wireless phone calls with the revenue going to 911 systems is bogged down in the General Assembly.  There are reports that other entities want a share of the surcharge revenue.  The concern for 911 is that the wireless surcharge is replacing revenues being lost through the reduced number of landline phones in use.  Landline phone owners pay a separate surcharge.

911 System Administrator Jodi Moomaw reported on a recent power outage in the east part of Effingham that knocked out the City 911 dispatching center.  Moomaw said city telecommunicators used pencil and paper to field call information and that the calls rolled over to the County dispatching center as the system is supposed to work.  She said there were some problems as the consoles didn't work and the city generator didn't kick on automatically, but when she summoned the City's public works department, the workers got the generator running.  Moomaw also noted that the portable radios acquired recently for the city and county dispatching centers worked well as they handle all channels.

911 board members renewed a service agreement with Motorola for consoles and the old 800 megahertz band and agreed to table until next month a vote on a personnel wage increase in the wake of an agreement in the sheriff's department with the Fraternal Order of Police.