Claremore Daily Progress

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Oologah/Talala

November 7, 2013

Fees set for agencies joining E911 dispatch

CLAREMORE — The E911 Trust Authority voted Thursday to set fees for agencies looking to join the countywide dispatch center.

Scheduled to go live in the new facility on Jan. 13, several area fire, police and EMS services are interested in the service.

Currently, the board has set a starting rate of $13,000 for law enforcement agencies, excluding the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office is contributing funds through the Rogers County Commissioners.

The commissioners are funding 10 positions in the center for about $900,000 annually.

Fire departments will pay a minimum fee of $300 a month.

EMS services will pay a rate starting at $1,350 a month.

Additional funding could be generated once the center is up and running, according to E911 Director Janet Hamilton.

Gas or other utility companies who need emergency dispatch services may choose to join, according to Hamilton.

The new building includes workstations for five dispatchers and once the center is fully operational, new employees may be added, according to the board.

Hamilton requested new employees, including two supervisors, be added by opening day of operation.

Her proposal was denied by the board due to budget concerns.

“We need to start with the people we have now and figure out what we need,” commissioner Dan DeLozier said. “After opening the center it will take time to get to the point where the funding is available and the need for more employees will be required.”

The sheriff’s office, Verdigris police and fire departments, as well as Oologah Talala Emergency Medical Serivces (OTEMS), will be the only agencies being serviced when the center opens, Hamilton said.

Hamilton was concerned the revenue generated from the agencies would not meet the center’s expenses.

“When we go into the center,  agencies are going to have to start paying,” DeLozier said.

Initially the fees should generate approximately $233,000 annually, according to Hamilton.

In addition to the funding from Rogers County and the fees collected, 911 tax collections will be approximately $264,000, according to Hamilton.

The projected collections will not meet the estimated expenses, she said.

The board continues to work to bring the budget in line with the cost of operations.

“Everybody wants to know what it is going to cost them, but we wont know until we get into the center and learn the cost to run it,” DeLozier said.

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