A committee has been appointed to establish needs
CHARLESTON -- Mississippi County's E-911 will get an upgrade but will remain split between two call centers.
County commissioners addressed matters related to the E-911 upgrade during their regular meeting Thursday.
"Tuesday morning we had a meeting with representatives from Plant Equipment Company who is the manufacturer of the equipment that we have right now at our 911 centers," County Clerk Junior DeLay said. "They had a presentation on the equipment that is available right now. The meeting itself was pretty technically-oriented from my perspective."
Representatives from Anniston, Wyatt, Charleston, East Prairie, the Mississippi County Ambulance District and the Mississippi County Sheriff's Department attended the meeting, according to DeLay.
DeLay advised there are "pros and cons" to both continuing with two dispatching call centers and the alternative which would be equipping a single call center networked to a remote center.
While equipment costs would be less with a single call center, any cost savings would be offset by the cost of networking the call center to a remote center, DeLay said.
Commissioners decided having two centers would leave the county less vulnerable to losing all of the county's E-911 dispatching to a catastrophic event such as a tornado hitting the call center.
As recommended by DeLay, commissioners appointed a 911 committee to work with AT&T to establish exactly what the county needs, options and the cost of options for both equipment and networking.
Initial appointments by commissioners to the 911 committee are: Robert Hearnes, director of the Charleston Department of Public Safety; Daniel M. Gruen, Charleston's city manager; Danny Lafferty, East Prairie's chief of police; Lonnie Thurmond, East Prairie's city administrator; and Phil Patterson, director of the Mississippi County Ambulance District.
In other business Thursday:
* Commissioners approved paying $495 in repair costs for the county's University of Missouri Extension Center.
DeLay said repairs included the installation of two exterior pre-hung doors, pine siding in front of the building around the door openings, and caulking around the doors.
"It looks better," Commissioner Homer Oliver said. "That will be everything they do this year."
* DeLay will call Cathy Walters, community development specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development, to clear up some questions about law enforcement vehicle grant funding approved for the county.
A funding approval letter advised the county will receive $51,568 for the purchase two law enforcement vehicles.
DeLay said, however, that the original grant was for $54,000 in federal funds to be matched with $18,000 in local funds to replace three current vehicles with there four-wheel drive SUV-type vehicles.
Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg said if the grant funding is supposed to be for three vehicles, it appears as if the county may now need to put in about $20,000 in matching funds instead of the $18,000.
* If more than one insurance agent offers the same health insurance plan, preference will be given to the agent located within the county, commissioners agreed. And if more than a single local agent offers the same plan, commissioners will have a random drawing to determine which agent will be awarded the bid if that plan is the county's best option.
In related business, DeLay said the county will not divulge to agents the price for renewing the current health insurance plan during the bidding process but will only offer the current rate paid by the county.