Gering Council hears first report from Communication Center Advi - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Gering Council hears first report from Communication Center Advisory Board

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The Gering City Council has been presented with the first report from the county communication center's advisory board.
Ben Backus, Gering's board representative, told council Monday night they should expect to pay around $38,000 dollars this upcoming year. 

Backus says the Board discussed creating a sinking fund of nearly $225,000 over two years to cover equipment costs. 

"This would start a sinking fund for all of the interlocals so we don't have the issue like we did before where everyone is running around saying, 'Oh, my gosh, our equipment is dying," Backus said. "This would be an interlocal fund within the county. Our cost to stat that would be $57,750, that would be over two years we'd like to get this sinking fund started." 

Backus says the advisory board is also looking to replace two systems in the communications center console that are continuously failing and locking up.

"The computer aided dispatch system for the console is very old, its currently pushing out a text file to the console. So basically, we have this hi-tech console that just streaming a text file that when they get more than six calls the whole system locks up."

Backus said the SLEUTH system currently used by law enforcement also needs to be replaced.

"Together, these two systems are probably going to be about $500,000 to replace," Backus said.

The money will also be used for a federally-mandated nationwide emergency management system, as well as a new system to record emergency calls. 

Council member Justin Allred raised concerns with how much money the city is being asked to pay.

"I don't want to say the word 'double-taxed' but we're having to invest additional money into something that there is already a tax set up for?" Allred said. "We all pay cell phone and city and county taxes already, are any of these funds being pulled out of these general taxes?"

Backus said for the past couple years, the city has not received the money credit it should have gotten because the equipment could not distinguish whether emergency calls were coming in from land lines or cell phones.

"We didn't get as much as we should have over the last three or four years. Companies like Viaero the people who were good with their paperwork for that money," Backus said. "But I am working with Chance to get that straightened out, and it looks like this year we will receive that money."
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