911 Board Hears Battling Continues Over Funds

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Published on March 12 2014 8:40 pm
Last Updated on March 12 2014 8:40 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Effingham County 911 board members Tuesday heard that a battle continues in Springfield over 911 revenues at the state level.

911 Systems Administrator Jodi Moomaw said individuals affiliated with poison control are lobbying for a share of the dollars that now go to 911.  911 supporters have also been campaigning to retain the funding, and a hearing to consider the funding has been cancelled.

Moomaw said a measure is also pending to continue the 911 surcharge at the state level.  The surcharge is due to expire in July.  She said battles also continue to prevent Governor Quinn's past practice of sweeping other funds, including 911 monies, to pay other bills.

Moomaw also reported on a study designed to determine the costs of 911 PSAP locations.  She is skeptical as to the benefits of the study, saying the State did a study of 911 several years ago, and "did nothing with it."

There was discussion of difficulties to hear dispatches from Altamont Ambulance Service, although the ambulance service could hear 911 dispatches.  The plan is to put the ambulance service on the high band frequency, rather than continue to use the aging 800 megahertz system.

The Board also decided against paying the latest invoice from the agency working on the efficiency study of 911.  The firm conducting the study promised a financial overview and it hasn't yet been provided.  Among the firm's recommendations was fulltime staff for 911, but they haven't identified a funding mechanism with the recommendations.