911 Board Considers Tentative Budget


Published on October 8 2013 4:05 pm
Last Updated on October 8 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Effingham County 911 Board Tuesday placed a proposed fiscal year budget on file for public inspection.  The proposal includes $30,000 to cover Starcom fees for the city police department and the county sheriff's department.

911 hasn't paid those fees in the past, because the sheriff's department hasn't been using Starcom.  If the County gets their fees paid, the City wants the same arrangement for their existing Starcom agreement.

There was discussion that once the County goes online with Starcom, it won't use its 800 megahertz system.  It was suggested by 911 Board member Ted Heath that if 800 is not an expense, that funding could help offset the cost of Starcom.

Sheriff John Monnet, who is now serving on the 911 Board following the retirement of Chief Deputy Sheriff John Loy, reported that the county's radio repeaters are compatible with Starcom so that should reduce additional expenses.

However, several emergency services agencies, such as the ambulance service and county fire protection districts, utilize the 800 system and don't have the resources to switch to another system so 800 will have to remain active in some form.

The proposed budget also includes a $20,000 increase to both the City and the County for use of the dispatching points at the police station and the sheriff's department.  The increase was discussed last year but was delayed so 911 would have funds available to conduct the efficiency study still being completed.

Regarding the efficiency study, 911 Board member Norbert Soltwedel said the report is coming along, but behind schedule.  Phase A is the portion of the project where Intertech Associates are preparing a report on the efficiencies of the system and whether improvements could be made.  It's hoped at least a rough draft of the report will be available for the 911 Board's November meeting.

Board members voted to obtain a full load to test the generators at the City dispatching point and at the tower site so a backup system will work in the event of a power outage.