Tuesday, Dec. 2


A night of agreements     Send a link to a friend

[DEC. 2, 2003]  With one alderman, Steve Fuhrer, absent the Lincoln City Council discussed and unanimously passed several agreements with the county. The agreements in one way or another all involve operations that take place at the Logan County Safety Complex.

The intergovernmental agreements are all renewals with Logan County for 911 services, equipment and space and a lease for the space the Lincoln Police Department occupies in the safety complex.

The 911 agreements were complicated by the proposed consolidation of the communications room. If voters approve a telephone surcharge referendum on the March 16, 2004, election ballot, the 911 operation will go to a unified (neither city- nor county-controlled) communications center. So, the new agreements had to be reworked to allow for that transition if it happens.

1. Emergency Telephone System Board agreement for Centralized Dispatch Service

Under this agreement the city agrees to enter into agreement with the county to give the ETSB administration and management of the emergency dispatch and communication center.

The ETSB agreement was passed with the understanding that several changes will be made to the agreement before it is signed.

First, there will be no added fees.

Second, the city will be added to the 911 liability insurance policy for as little as $250 or possibly at no cost.

Under the original and current agreement the city agrees to pay $42,000 spread over seven years. This will be restated as $6,000 per year with a seven-year agreement. The fee is to maintain, repair or replace the equipment that the city owns in the dispatch center.

Bill Bates, the city's attorney, suggested at the last meeting that perhaps this fee could or should be waived if the new proposal passes in which the 911 operation is no longer separated as city and county. However, Bates said that the assistant state's attorney, Jonathan Wright, has responded to that suggestion.


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Wright said that this is a divided expense between the city and the county. The city benefits the most from the use of the 911 service, but the county carries the bigger bulk of the expense. The city should be willing to continue to pay their share of the expense.

The council members and Bates agreed with that explanation.

Another issue was resolved concerning the potential breakdown of city-owned equipment and getting it fixed in a timely manner without going through time-consuming council approval. Most items on the equipment list can be covered by the police department budget.

However, if there is an expense that is not covered, it will be submitted by notification of the police chief for council approval.

2. Communications room

The city pays $4,800 dollars per year for their share of the lease on the space the 911 dispatch occupies.

If the new Centralized Dispatch Service is approved by voters, this lease will be considered null and void.

The city pays $42,000 spread over seven years, or $6,000 per year, with a seven-year agreement. The fee is to maintain, repair or replace the equipment that the city owns in the dispatch. This will continue under the new ETSB agreement if the 911 proposal passes.

3. Police department (lease of safety complex space)

The city will continue to host the police department quarters in the safety complex at a rate of $24,918 for the year.

Police Chief Rich Montcalm confirmed the accuracy of the amount of space being used by the city in the safety complex. Alderman Derrick Crane did some checking and said that the amount of the lease per square feet along with the Consumer Price Index increases is within the accepted standard.

[Jan Youngquist]

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