County E911 faces serious financial issues

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The president of the Barry County E911 Board described a "perfect storm" of issues that have placed the E911 Center in a precarious financial situation. Jon Horner's comments were made during Tuesday night's special public meeting.

According to Horner, the recent ruling in favor of Monett in the ongoing TIF (tax increment financing) lawsuit has put the E911 board in the position of possibly filing Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection if forced to pay the $600,000-plus in sales tax money the suit claims is owed to Monett, plus legal expenses.

In addition to the TIF issue, the recession has also affected the E911 Board's financial standing. Over the past two years, sales tax revenue has decreased by over $200,000.

"The Barry County E911 Board is determined to have E911 remain in place," said Horner. "But the reality is that we are facing severe challenges, including potential bankruptcy, because of the lawsuit brought on by the City of Monett."

Various options for the future viability of Barry County E911 were discussed at the meeting.

"The board has initiated spending cuts and will continue to look for ways to cut costs, while keeping 24-hour dispatching and emergency services available for every community of Barry County," said Horner.

In light of the judge's ruling and its potential to negatively impact Barry County E911, Horner said the board has filed a motion with the court to reconsider the recent court ruling.

According to Horner, the judge has until Aug. 10 to make a determination. Once the judge issues his ruling, the Barry County E911 Board will have to decide how to proceed.

A more detailed news story about Barry County E911 will appear in next Wednesday's print edition of the Cassville Democrat.

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