E-911 board adopts $977,380 budget

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Members of the Barry County E-911 Board adopted a budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year that nears the $1 million mark. In its first full year of service, the county's newly established system is expected to cost $977,380 to operate, according to the budget figures accepted by the board on Monday night.

Pat Leighter, E-911 director, prepared the budget, which includes a planned operations deficit of $77,380. Total revenue for the coming year is predicted at $900,000 with expenditures totalling $977,380.

Board member Jon Horner pointed out that the budget deficit included approximately $51,000 in "start-up" related costs.

"When you count the start-up expenses that you won't have the following year, that gets the true operating deficit down to around $26,000," said Horner. "We're flying a little blind, because this will be our first year of operations, but I think this budget is a good blueprint for us to work toward."

Some of the major areas of spending for the E-911 include $364,000 for payroll, $193,394 for repayment of a loan through Wells Fargo and $23,039 for mapping, $55,860 for phones and $58,194 for maintenance/service plans.

Currently, the Barry County E-911 Center employs 14 full-time dispatchers. Leighter said some of the shifts have been changed from eight hours to 10 hours, which eliminated the need to hire additional personnel.

"This seems to be working out well for the dispatchers who chose to go to 10 hours,"

Revenues to support Center operations are generated through a quarter cent sales tax Barry County voters approved in the June 2005 election. Leighter estimated that the sales tax would generate $900,000 during the coming fiscal year. This total was based on an average monthly sales tax total of $75,000.

"The sales tax figure may be an underestimate, but all bets are off with the economy the way it is," said Leighter. "I don't know what people are going to do."

The board also discussed mapping and addressing issues and the monthly call report.

To date, there have been 470 road signs installed. The sign installer is currently working in the Eagle Rock area. When the process is completed, there will be approximately 850 new road signs installed in the county.

Leighter also reported that reverse 911 had been installed. The Center is currently waiting on installation of the county's data base plus mapping updates.

During the month of May, the E-911 Center processed a total of 11,238 phone calls. By department, the Center handled 966 calls for the Barry County Sheriff's Department and 587 for the Cassville Police Department. In all, the Center processed 1,761 law enforcement-related calls during May. In addition, there were 105 calls for rescue and 29 fire calls.

Dispatchers during May handled 6,580 incoming calls and made 4,394 outgoing calls. There were a total of 167 abandoned calls, which accounted for 1.49 percent of all the calls received by the Center. There were 264 actual 911 calls received this past month.

In other business, the board:

* Set filing dates for July 15 through Aug. 26 for the Nov. 4 election. Board positions currently held by Harold Schelin, Bob Lombard, Ron Shook and Jon Horner will be up for election.

* Accepted a proposal from CPA Group in the amount of $2,000 to $2,750 to conduct the 2007-08 audit.

The next meeting of the E-911 Board will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 25.

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