A new contract for emergency dispatch services will enable Linn and Benton counties to backstop each other on 911 calls.
Linn County Commissioners John Lindsey and Will Tucker approved a contract between the Linn County Sheriff’s Office and Noble 911 Services Tuesday morning. Board Chairman Roger Nyquist was not present.
LCSO Capt. Don Messick said the contract will include new phone system hardware, software, installation and maintenance. He said the current system is past its “end of life” time period.
The system will cost $441,406, but $351,983 of that will come from the 911 excise tax reimbursement program, leaving the county’s portion at $89,423.
Messick said LCSO and the Corvallis Regional Communications Center will now have the same 911 equipment, which means they will be able to provide backup for each other and could dispatch for each other.
“We currently share the same radio system, computer-aided dispatch system and records system," Messick noted in In a written commentary to the commissioners. "With our phone upgrade, we would truly be able to back one another up in a full-capacity situation.”
Messick said that could be done without dispatchers from either county having to leave their own work center.
“Both agencies have determined only one system and provider can deliver the product we need to accomplish the mission we have established,” Messick added. “The key feature is system redundancy and the system availability needed to operate if both systems lose connection to one another.”
After the meeting, Sheriff Jim Yon said the current 911 system is eight years old.
"They should be replaced every five or six years," Yon said.
Yon said the dispatch center handles about 130,000 calls per year, of which 54,000 are 911 calls.
In other business, the commissioners:
• Were informed by Planning and Building Director Robert Wheeldon that first quarter revenue is down $106,653, or about 18% from the same time period a year ago. He said the decrease is almost entirely due to a 9% decrease in county building permit revenue. Wheeldon said a bright spot is that rural site-built dwelling permits are up 25%.
• Approved putting out a request for proposals for an internal pay equity analysis. According to Jodi Gollehon, deputy Linn County attorney, a new law suggests that employers should conduct an equal pay analysis every three years.
• Declared almost $32,000 in unpaid property taxes as uncollectible. A list was presented by Andy Stevens, the county assessor and tax collector.
• Approved adding $2,000 to a $174,620 contract with ABC Roofing due to dry rot and roof decking issues on the courthouse. The request was made by General Services Director Russ Williams.
• Were informed by County Treasurer Michelle Hawkins that $120,000 has been expended through the Wildland Fire Victims Fund and she was going to have to inform some recent applicants the funds were gone. Commissioner Tucker said there may be another donation coming by a local business and suggested she hold up sending out letters for a few days.
Contact Linn County reporter Alex Paul at 541-812-6114.
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