The officials of several county law enforcement and emergency response groups gathered in the Nodaway County Commissioners’ office August 27 to continue to plan for the combining of emergency dispatch services in the county.
Maryville City Manager Greg McDanel reported the bids for new equipment will be opened on September 6. The original provider of the 911 dispatch equipment and plan, GEO Comm, prepared the request for proposal packages which the equipment bid companies will have for specifications. He also reported the city has asked a St. Louis attorney to give an opinion about an operation plan for the new dispatch unit including the governance, personnel, equipment needs and other future situations.
Presiding Commissioner Bill Walker noted the county officials also have requested guidance from their attorney.
The group agreed there will be the need to go to the voters requesting a sales tax on devices 911 emergency messages may be sent. The present state law says the sales tax can not exceed $1; however, it was discussed the state legislature is being urged to increase the amount to cover the cost of the highly technical computerized equipment. The earliest possible ballot would be during the April 7 election. There are also possible grants for equipment purchases.
Maryville Public Safety Director Keith Wood explained further the possible operational routes of the consolidated 911 emergency dispatch service: either a governing board detailed by state statute versus an advisory board with the governance to be by either the county or the city.
A timetable for the building of the facility which will house the unit is a year, however, the city leaders told their equipment may not last. So an alternate was proposed in the bids to allow for delivering the system and making it operational two times. The specifications which are on the bid sheet are for four workstations in the public safety facility and one to be placed at the sheriff’s office. This will allow for redundancy in case of a storm as well as unique work the sheriff’s personnel must perform. Radioes for the dispatching could be both digital and analog.
Wood also reported the leaders of United Fiber have been offered and NWCell has noted the antennas can be placed atop cell towers.
Other entities represented were the University Police, Nodaway County Sheriff and Nodaway County Ambulance District.
The group agreed to meet again at 9 am, Thursday, September 19 at the commissioners’ office with equipment bids and operational status.