A newly formed committee representing Cherokee County and its municipalities met last week with members of the E-911 Board to discuss issues concerning funding of dispatching services within the county.
Before any discussions took place, Chairman of the 911 Board Johnny Roberts asked for everyone to go to the Central Dispatch Center to observe the operations and resumed the meeting at the County Commission Chambers. Following the first meeting of the organization earlier this year, the main issue seemed to be the formula for funding the Central Dispatch Services for the county.
The E911 Board agreed to look for a reasonable solution to the problem – a new formula using a population base and actual activity from the computer activated dispatch system was presented to the group for consideration which lowered the amount the municipalities of Centre, Cedar Bluff and Leesburg would be paying with the county picking up the additional expense of $11,874.51 per year.
The City of Centre would stand to save $3,856.68 per year, Cedar Bluff $5,455.17 and Leesburg $2,562.66 less per year. Sand Rock would pay $5,582.03 and Gaylesville $1,522.37.
Centre City Councilman Marc Johnson explained his concerns –
Cherokee County EMA Director Beverly Daniel explained why the City of Centre is called upon to share a hefty load of the expense –
The amount referred to by Johnson was the average cost per Central Dispatch employees including benefits, overtime, and workers compensation insurance. The average seniority of the Central Dispatch employees is more than 14 years of service with some having more than 20 years of experience and several having received extensive training and taking instructional courses through JSU to be certified as dispatchers.
Johnsons is doing more research on dispatch costs in other areas and will report to the Centre City Council for further action.
The next meeting will be in Mid-July.