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Friday, Apr. 18, 2014

E-911 is running smoothly

Friday, August 8, 2008

Some positions at the center still need to be filled

BENTON -- Now the kinks are worked out of Scott County's E-911 Communications Center, the county can begin presenting it as an option to other municipalities looking to outsource their operations, and save a little money.

The operation was discussed by commissioners and other officials during the monthly E-911 Advisory Board meeting at Thursday's regular county commission meeting.

"Things are running relatively smooth," said Tom Beardslee, E-911 director. He said the only issue at the moment are some vacant positions.

David Jones, a representative for the South Scott County Ambulance District, gave some praise to the program on behalf of his co-workers. "They just want to make sure Tom knows they are really impressed with the night time dispatchers,"

Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn said that was good news to hear.

"If we don't have to spend time on problems, we can spend time on growth," he said. Over the past eight or so months, commissioners have discussed making Scott County a regional hub for E-911 services.

With the rising cost of the service and lower funds, due to a drop in landlines and a lack of taxes on cell phones for the program, the commissioners -- as well as other entities -- are looking to cut costs in whatever ways possible.

Beardslee noted technology at the center -- such as the ability to record all calls as well as take calls from other areas and dispatch with no time delays -- will make the system just as efficient, although the call center will be further away.

In other news on Thursday, Sheriff Rick Walter turned over $24,908.83 to the county of fees collected in the month of July. The funds are generated from services such as serving papers, boarding prisoners and more.

Presiding Commissioner Jamie Burger commended Walter for generating the extra income. He noted that in activities such as the paper service, the office is in direct competition with individuals and other companies to provide the service.

"Right now, we are all trying to be proactive and think of things we can do to generate money in-house," said Burger. He said that search will never stop, and the commissioners, as well as others, will hopefully continue thinking of more ways to generate funds, as well as cut back on expenses.

Also at Thursday's meeting, Burger commended all those involved in Tuesday's election -- specifically the county clerk's office and all election judges, for a job well done.

"Our elections went really, really smooth," he said. "You always hear horror stories of things that happen in other counties, and we just don't have that."

He noted that while it only takes an individual five to 10 minutes to vote, those involved spend several weeks to prepare and then tie up all the loose ends.

Burger said the atmosphere in the courtroom while waiting for the results was "very friendly." He also added the automated scan system, which provides up-to-date totals by precinct, help the returns go smoothly.

The presiding commissioner said he visited most polls on Tuesday and heard only one complaint: that voters weren't allowed to split their ticket. "But we can't help that," he said.

He and other commissioners also said they wished the turnout would have been higher than the approximately 26 percent of voters who cast ballots.

"County taxes pay for the elections," he said. "And there are people out there dying to give us the freedom to vote."