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March 8, 2013

E911 Trust seeks Commissioners’ action

CLAREMORE — Rogers County E911 Trust Authority met Thursday to prepare a request for the Rogers County Commissioners to finalize the trust formally and commit to provide future funding for the center.

The trust has not officially been formed as the board of commissioners has yet to approve trust indenture documents.
However, trust officials say they have been waiting to get final approval until the commissioners guarantee in writing that they will continue to pay for the salaries and benefits of E911 employees.
Assistant District Attorney David Iski is currently working to provide a letter of intent to the commissioners for approval, according to E911 Director Janet Hamilton.
Hamilton added that the document should be ready in the next couple of weeks.
Rogers County Commissioner Kirt Thacker was present at the meeting and questioned the trust members, asking why they have not finalized the paperwork.
“The fact is there is no trust, I would like to know this groups concerns,” Thacker said.
Each member echoed the same statement, “there is no way to fund the salaries without the commissioners.”
The 10 salaries in question currently cost Rogers County approximately $340,000 and are funded from the general fund, according to Hamilton.
Recent reports show that the E911 Center does not have enough income monthly to support the salaries and other operating expenses, she added.
Thacker encouraged the board to bring the issue and the trust documents to the board.
The items will be added to the March 18 agenda, according to Hamilton.
Iski should have the necessary documents completed by then, she added.
Once the trust gets approval then it can move forward with setting a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Currently the trust has approximately $800,000 in funds available.  Construction on the new center has started and is anticipated to cost $1.8 million to build.
Excess funds from the new courthouse will be used to fund the equipment needed to supply the facility, Thacker said.
The expected cost to build and equip the facility will likely exceed $2.5 million depending on the county’s ability to use lease purchases agreement to buy equipment, according to Hamilton.
Two bids have currently been published for equipment, one for the 911-phone equipment and the other for a 100 ft. tower.

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