The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local Politics

July 7, 2014

Safety Board doesn't discuss dispatch merger

Board waiting on Anderson City Council action

ANDERSON – The Anderson Board of Public Safety didn’t discuss the proposed interlocal agreement with Madison County on a combined dispatch center.

Bruce Dunham, chairman of the Board of Public Safety, said Monday that the dispatch center agreement was not on the meeting agenda.

The Safety Board did tentatively approve the agreement at the June 19 meeting and was expected to consider final approval of the pact at this meeting.

“We have a few more questions,” Dunham said of the agreement. “We’re not trying to stall. We want to have a full understanding of the combined dispatch center.”

He said Frank Dick, a member of the Safety Board, will meet with Anderson Police Chief Larry Crenshaw.

“We’re waiting on the city council to take action,” Dunham said.

Included on the Anderson City Council agenda for Thursday is a resolution to approve the inter-local agreement, but Councilman David Eicks wants the measure tabled.

Eicks said he is concerned about the impact on salaries and benefits of city dispatch center employees when they become county employees and the city’s representation on the nine-member board that will set policies and procedures.

Dunham said the Safety Board wants to look at the proposed new radio system for all police and fire departments operating in the county and the effect on communications for the rest of the city.

As proposed, the dispatch center budget would be $3.2 million with Anderson providing $1.2 million, $680,000 in E911 fees, $1 million from Madison County; $250,000 from the fire departments and $180,000 from Alexandria and Elwood.

Crenshaw has estimated the city will save a minimum of $300,000 per year by joining the consolidated dispatch center.

The committee working on the consolidation wants to request proposals for the new radio system in August from two vendors.

The estimated cost is $18 million, but consultants have indicated the cost could be less than $12 million.

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