Benton Evening News - Benton, IL
  • 911 board OKs budget for radio equipment

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  • Franklin County 911 director Rick Basso was granted a budget of up to $35,000 to fund a phase three contingency plan during the January board meeting.
    Basso said a good deal of uncertainty surrounds the future of Central Dispatch and the 911 equipment located inside their building.
    Basso recommended that the board fund the plan to duplicate radio systems on the west side of the county.
    He said the plan would duplicate Coal Belt for the fire departments and the repeater installation for law enforcement agencies.
    “When this project is complete, whatever happens at Central will not jeopardize our ability to provide 911 service to all citizens in Franklin County,” he said.
    Basso said he would work with county auditor Kim Meyer to create a reserve account to pay for the third phase of the contingency plan.
    “We may need to delay other projects and adjust our other reserves to dedicate the money needed for this contingency plan,” Basso said. “I believe we need to consider this to be our number 1 priority.”
    Basso explained three financial statements covering three time periods to the board. He said reserve monies total $82,000 to meet financial obligations.
    “This does not include the majority of January’s deposits which would add at least $30,000 more,” Basso said.
    He stated that over the past year average monthly income was $36,247 and average montly expense was $39,776. Basso added, “The difference in these amounts is covered from our savings in reserve.”
    Basso said no board action was needed as he updated members about Central Dispatch. He said the last contact with that board was on Dec. 17 when they notified him that the new Central Dispatch board attorney would be in contact with the 911 board attorney.
    “Their attorney called on Jan. 9 but our attorney was not available,” Basso said. “That call was returned by our attorney the same day, but the two have not talked.”
    He said he would keep the board informed and contact members if a special meeting was needed.
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