Rogers County Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to build the new E911 center in Claremore.
Commissioner Mike Helm made the motion to approve the site to be located near the corner of Lowry Road and Highway 88.
Helm surveyed the audience including local law enforcement, EMS and city government representatives during the meeting before making the motion.
He asked each official directly if they would support the Claremore location versus the proposed Inola site.
The overwhelming response from the audience was to approve the Claremore location. Each opinion echoed the recommendations of the E911 committee delegated with recommending a site early this year.
After two hours of discussions, the opinion of those local officials seemed to make an impact on the commissioners. Commissioner Dan DeLozier seconded Helm’s motion and Commissioner Kirt Thacker was the last to approve the measure.
Janet Hamilton, Rogers County E911 Administrator, joined the meeting via conference call and offered an opinion on virtually every aspect of the plans for the center.
“What do you want as the E911 director?” Helm said.
“Next generation 911 technology is here today. Your new equipment needs to be next generation ready. Your citizens of your community are expecting a next generation call center,” Hamilton said.
The debate to determine the location centered on available amenities including water, fire protection, high-speed telephone Internet connectivity, electrical services and tower availability.
Officials from AT&T, Telephone and Data Systems, Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), Claremore Electric, Rural Water District 3 and Rogers County engineers spoke about the availability of these resources.
It was determined that the necessary resources were readily available with some variation in costs at both potential locations. The estimate of costs has not been provided to date.
The Rogers County Fire Chiefs Association presented the commissioners with a document outlining their support for the Claremore site.
“The Claremore site is centrally located, all rural agencies have approximately the same distance to travel ranging from one to 18 miles, the Inola site is two miles to 32 miles distance,” Chief David Puckett said, “It is our recommendation that the site be located where the majority of all issues at hand have led us to say that Claremore is the best and smartest site to place the 911 center.”
Local citizens also weighed in twith their concerns about the location.
John Baker said, “As a taxpayer I prefer it being centrally located where the Sheriff and other resources are located.”
Plans to move forward with the Claremore building site will now be included in the construction of the new Rogers County Courthouse.
“Location is only one element of a successful E911 center, we still have not addressed the issues government, philosophy, redundancy, technology, and funding until these issues are addressed I can not make a recommendation to my council,” Claremore Chief of Police Stan Brown said.
The commissioners will be working to solve the issues associated with building the new E911 center and determining the location was just one step in the process.