Thursday, August 11, 2004

County 911 board seeks funding

Staff Writer

Members of the board of directors of 911 say they need more funding to take care of communications requirements and for more dispatchers.

Hugh Hollowell, Joe Winfield and Irene Harris, executive director, broached the matter with the Marshall County Board of Supervisors at the August 1 meeting.

Winfield, a 911 board director, said some police and fire departments are benefitting from enhanced 911 service but their governing bodies are not contributing to the cost of operating 911.

Hollowell said it is the responsibility of the board of directors to look for sources of funding. Grant money is also used for upgrades in communication equipment, he said.

But some upgrades are mandated without funding from federal agencies, Winfield said.

“Now that we have enhanced 911 we follow a call from placement until it is complete - from start to finish,” he said. “Other places hand it off. I think cities should pay their share. If we handle our 911 like most other places do, just hand it off, if they had to set that up it would cost them a whole lot more.”

The City of Holly Springs’ fire and police department benefits a lot from 911 but the city no longer contributes to the 911 budget, Winfield said.

Hollowell said monies are harder to find.

“Years ago there was more money floating and there was not so much cost,” Hollowell said. “The population was less to serve.”

(Editor’s note: In a report back to the board of supervisors by Larry Hall at the August 8 meeting, Hall said he spoke with Mayor Andre’ DeBerry about including monies for 911 in the City of Holly Springs’ budget and got a favorable response.)

In other business, supervisors:

  • approved $585,621 in claims.
  • authorized advertisement for picnic tables, benches and playground equipment for the community centers.
  • heard progress reports on road and bridge work.
  • authorized advertisement for bids for runway lights at the airport.
  • approved an application for $250,000 in grant funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission. The funds will go to pave Wingo Road in Chickasaw Trails Industrial Park.
  • heard a progress report from Bill Renick on activity at Chickasaw Trails.
  • authorized a feasibility study to locate an office on Fields Road to be used as a substation for the sheriff’s department and tax collector. The station would be located near Highway 309 several miles north of Byhalia.

He said IDA gets inquiries from industry wanting to look at sites every day. A half-million gallon water storage tank will be built at Chickasaw, he said. Sewer lines are already being laid at the park.

The next meeting of the Board of Supervisors is at 5 p.m. Monday August 15. The board meets in the Court Room at 103b South Market Street, Holly Springs.

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