Commission takes different look at E-911 funding

Published 8:17 am Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The County Commission voted to draft a contract with E-911 for non-emergency services at Monday’s meeting.

At previous meetings, the Commission asked to see budget information from E-911, and Commissioner Charlie Sankey presented a different proposed funding plan on Monday.

In September, E-911 suggested a contract amount of $70,520 per year for the county, which includes around $17,000 for the Alabama State Troopers.

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That figure used the percentage of non-emergency dispatches made by the county, however, Sankey’s plan is based on population.

Sankey said he took a nine-month profit and loss statement from E-911 dating from January to September 2011 and projected those values to a year.

Using the number of employees, total hours and payroll numbers, he calculated that E-911 worked 8,599.4 non-emergency hours last year (58.9 percent of the total hours worked) at a cost of $81,973.79.

Some 65.23 percent of the total population of Crenshaw County resides outside incorporated towns, so the commission would be responsible for that percentage of the total cost, or $53,472.19.

“We can’t afford to pay you for the percent of business you do for us,” Sankey said. “Others can’t either. If E-911 holds these entities to ‘You’ve got to pay your percentage of the business,’ they can’t do it.”

Sankey’s plan also reduces the total amount owed by other towns around the county, except for Luverne, which uses its own dispatchers.

E-911 director Scott Stricklin said that part of the problem with the plan would come from towns that don’t use E-911 for dispatching anything but the volunteer fire department, such as Glenwood.

“We can’t go and legitimately ask for this amount of money when all they run through us is the fire department,” he said. “The same thing applies for Rutledge.  We don’t have a leg to stand on to ask them for this. You [the commission] have that right, but we don’t have the authority to go to them.”

After arriving at the final figure for the county, the commission also deducted rent for E-911 using the EMA building ($1,000 per month) and 65 percent of the electrical bill to bring the total to $36,012.19.

In the regular meeting, the commission voted to allow county attorney Levi Nichols to draft a contract with E-911 in the amount of $30,000 for one year to be reviewed by both entities.

In other business, the commission heard from representatives from Glenwood about the possibility of raising the speed limit on Highways 6 and 57.

County engineer Benjie Sanders said that separate speed studies would need to be done on the roads before anything could be sent to the state.

Sanders also informed the commission of progress on another round of TIGER grants (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery), and he said that a number of bridges in the county are under consideration to receive grant money.

The commission also appointed investigator Heath Truman to serve as the county’s agent to inspect violations of animal cruelty.

Nichols said that charging a person with cruelty to animals doesn’t allow the state to seize the animals.

“We have to appoint someone in law enforcement so the state can petition the court and seize the animals,” he said.

The commission also voted to stay with the state of Alabama for tax collection instead of Revenue Discovery Systems (RDS).