Gering approves SB County inter-local agreement, decision was no - Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Gering approves SB County inter-local agreement, council's decision not unanimous

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The city of Gering votes to the join the Scotts Bluff County inter-local agreement and will continue to receive 911 emergency services through the Communications Center, but the decision to approve was not unanimous among council members.
County Commissioners approached Gering council Monday night, looking for a final 'yes' or 'no' approval of the contract.

The inter-local agreement, which contracts cities to pay for equipment and improvements at the County Communications Center, was sent to all cities in the county for approval last summer.

Some Gering council members had issues with the original contract, and said those issues still haven't been resolved.

"I'm just so concerned that if we get into a perpetual agreement, they'll never be addressed," council member Jill McFarland said. 

"This agreement was presented on a take-it or leave-it basis and it has changed virtually nothing from the beginning," council member Larry Gibbs added.

Concern was raised about the annual budget that is to be set by the member-appointed Advisory Board.

The Advisory Board is responsible for setting a budget for equipment purchases.

"When that Advisory Board sets the budget, we have to take it or we lose our services," council member Gibbs said. "And since we're paying the second biggest share of this whole budget, that's a big concern of mine."
The city eventually decided to move along and vote on approving the County's contract, which passed with a 6-to-2 vote.

The city's approval means Gering will continue to receive emergency services through the County Communications Center.

Approval of the contract also means Gering is contracted to pay 23% of the Advisory Board's annual budget.

The board's 2013/2014 budget is $66,729.72, of which Gering will pay $15,347.84.

Gering has the second largest percentage to pay of the budget, behind the City of Scottsbluff which is obligated to pay 40.7% of the budget.

The city of Gering approved Ben Backus as their representative to the Advisory Board, and council member Don Christensen as an alternate.  

The Advisory Board has to approve it's budget with a majority vote among members. 
The city of Minatare is the only city that has yet to sign the County's agreement.

The issue is on Minatare's council agenda for tonight's meeting.


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