NEW 911 CENTER MOVING FORWARD - Site, Debt Reduction And Building Plans

The construction of a new 911 control center was moved forward Monday evening by the members of the Calhoun Commission.

The commission voted to accept a number of proposals set forth by the 911 Advisory Board, including advertising for a basic block building to be located at behind Calhoun Middle/High School.

The Calhoun County Board of Education has agreed to provide the land for the project.

911 Advisory Board chairman Jerry Riggs said he believes the project will work well to deliver better services to Calhoun County. The current 911 center at Mt. Zion does not meet safety and operational standards.

Part of the recommendation is to reduce or pay off a loan obtained by the county for equipment purchases and E-911 improvements, using part of $70,000 in grant money currently on hold for 911. Less than $50,000 remains unpaid in a $110,000 loan obtained to purchase E-911 equipment and upgrade to E-911.

The payment of the remaining debt will stabilize the 911 budget to cover operational costs in the future, including the operation of the new facility.

911 Director Joe Tanner said he intends to continue working on upgrading the county communication system, in addition to having a secure and functional E-911 center.

Commissioners met with the 911 Advisory Board in December to discuss an ongoing budget problem, and asking for a working plan to to move the project forward.

Delegate Bill Stemple has told the Calhoun Commission he is working on obtaining $50,000 for E-911 improvements, and the commission is looking at other Budget Digest funding to complete the entire project.

The commission plans to put a basic bid package together during the February meeting.