BENTON - Scott County will receive $72,000 in Homeland Security funds to upgrade its E-911 equipment.
Joe Burton, Scott County E-911 administrator, met with county commissioners Tuesday during their regular meeting to get approval to receive the grant.
Burton said there is no local match required but the county must first spend the money and then seek reimbursement.
The equipment must be purchased before Nov. 30, according to Burton, but the call center can be moved from Morley to the jail dispatching area as part of the upgrade.
Burton said he has another grant application in for new radio communication equipment. "They don't consider radios part of the 911 system," he said. "It's a whole different grant."
The SBC phone company estimated the upgrade and move to Benton can be accomplished for around $50,000 and with less complications, Burton said, than upgrading at the Morley location as they can simply turn off the old equipment at Morley and turn on the new equipment at Benton.
The county is leasing about half the 911 equipment presently in use at Morley which will not be the situation at Benton. "When we get moved over here, we will own it all," Burton said.
Commissioners said they think state legislators are trying again to pass a bill to establish a E-911 tax on wireless phones but Burton said he has not heard anything about it yet.
Burton said 60-70 percent of all calls his center receives are from wireless telephones from which E-911 centers receive no money. Many of the calls are from motorists traveling on Interstate 55.
"We get a lot of traffic moving through here and we get a lot of calls," he said. "We definitely need the wireless tax. The money is just not there to keep it running anymore."
Burton predicted 911 centers would soon lose even more money to voice over the Internet protocol phone usage.
The new technology is fine, Burton said, "but we don't have the money to keep up with it."
In other business Tuesday, commissioner met with Joel Evans, county developer.
Officials discussed possibilities for using the $15,000 in grant funding awarded to promote the county. "The money is there and it has to be used to promote the Web site," Evans said.
The Missouri Department of Transportation estimated the cost to put signs welcoming motorists to Scott County on Interstate 55 will be $2,800 each.
Evans made several suggestions for using the remaining money including ordering some mouse pads with the county's logo and Web site address to distribute to office holders and to businesses interested in coming to Scott County.
He also suggested purchasing a LCD projector for presentations noting that their quality has gone up while prices have dropped on them. "I think they could be used in a lot of places," he said.
Officials also discussed using the county's logo on stationary and envelopes. "It needs to be on everything," Presiding Commissioner Martin Priggel said.
It is matter of "how to promote (the county) without it looking like we're blowing money," Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn said. "Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. ... We have a lot of empty buildings we could fill."
Commissioner Jamie Burger asked Evans to look into deleting an old version of the county Web site that can still be accessed.
Commissioners also asked Evans to update fire district information on the county Web site and to use a map graphic for links to fire district Web sites rather than name text links.