|"We're moving ahead to upgrade Calhoun Control," said 911 Advisory Board
chairman Jerry Riggs, including reducing the 911 debt and moving the center to a
The advisory group met with Calhoun Commissioners Bob Weaver and Rick
Sampson, and County Clerk Richard Kirby last Thursday.
Weaver presented the ups and downs of trying to upgrade emergency services in
the county, abandoning the idea of having a larger Emergency Services Center.
Calhoun Clerk Richard Kirby outlined in detail the financial problems during a
special meeting held at the courthouse.
The advisory group will make a recommendation to the Calhoun Commission in
January to use part of $70,000 in grant money to pay-off a $47,000 debt incurred
when 911 purchased new equipment and began E-911 mapping and
The debt load has been draining the 911 budget of money needed to operate the
system, said Riggs. "We need to get rid of the debt," he said.
The group is also recommending the construction of an approved concrete block
building on a site donated by the Calhoun Board of Education, where the center
will eventually be located. The site is near the new Board of Education office and
bus garage behind Calhoun Middle/High School.
911 Director Joe Tanner said he is looking forward to placing the center in a new
building, and continuing to upgrade the system to E-911 standards.
Calhoun Control 911 is now located in a building that does not meet standards.
Tanner told the advisory board the State of West Virginia has taken over the
development of mapping and addressing in the state, using funds given back to the
state by Verizon. "They expect to have the whole state up and running no later
than 2007," he said.
Calhoun has been moving ahead with an addressing system that appears to be
compatible with the state standards.
Tanner said with current grant money, in addition to obtaining another $50,000
through the efforts of Del. Bill Stemple "911 service is stabilized without raising
fees, and construction of a new building can begin."
E-911 funding is separate from the Emergency Services Levy.
The proposals will be placed before the county commissioners for further scrutiny
and possibly a vote at the January meeting.
Calhoun's emergency ambulance service will be looking at upgrading the current
building at Mt, Zion, or possibly looking for another location to house the
ambulance and squad.
EMS Director Josh Johnson said the the ambulance service will not be asking for
any additional money from the taxpayers when the Emergency Services Levy is up
for a vote in March.
The Emergency Services Levy helps pay for county ambulance service, including
the maintenance of a station at Minnora, operation of the county's three fire
departments, the employment of a deputy sheriff and a small allocation for the
Office of Emergency Services.
Riggs said the renewal of the levy is essential to the continuation of present services.