Claremore Daily Progress

March 22, 2013

E911 - Commissioners continue funding discussions

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE — The Rogers County Commissioners continued discussions this week, reaching no resolution to fund approximately $340,000 for the employees of the new E911 Center.

District 12 Assistant District Attorney David Iski briefly discussed with commissioners a concept called loaned employees.
“Loaned employees is a complex concept,” Iski said.
The idea would allow the employees to continue to receive benefits and retirement. Loaned employees can create certain liability issues for the county, according to Iski. 
Other issues can arise including the commissioner’s obligation to continue to fund the employees, according to Iski.
The discussion was one more step in the process to finalize the E911 Trust Authority. 
Rogers County E911 Director Janet Hamilton placed the item on the agenda at the request of the authority members two weeks ago.
Hamilton is looking for a way to fund the employees insuring continued benefits.
She has also been requested to resolve the issue that directly addresses budget concerns of the E911 Trust Authority.
The item was tabled two weeks prior to give Iski time to review the information and consult with attorney James Orbison of the law firm Riggs, Abney, Neil, Turpen, Orbison and Lewis Inc.
The trust is retaining Orbison, who is also serving as legal council for the Rogers County Criminal Justice Authority.
The other option for the county is to provide funding each fiscal year to the center, according to Iski.
The board cannot obligate funds beyond the current fiscal year, according to Oklahoma state statutes.
The commissioners can say they intend to fund the center, constitutionally the board cannot guarantee it, according to Iski.
“You can say it is our desire or pledge it,” Iski said.
The funding would have to be renewed on a yearly basis, he added.
“I would like to stay at the amount we have already been funding,” Rogers County Commissioner Kirt Thacker said. 
There are 15 positions involved, 10 are funded from the Rogers County general fund and five from the E911 fund.
“If they [the E911 Trust Authority] ever became self sufficient then they could pay for their own,” Thacker said.