Supervisors OK revised E911 interlocal agreement

Published 7:22 pm Monday, October 15, 2018

The Warren County Board of Supervisors have agreed to an interlocal governmental agreement with the city of Vicksburg to fund E911.

The new agreement will give Shane Garrard, Warren County’s E911 director, leeway in personnel while remaining within his budget.

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The previous agreement limited the E911 director to 17 full-time and four part-time dispatchers.

By statute, the county provides 911 service to citizens, which includes those citizens within the municipality of Vicksburg. As a result, the interlocal agreement exists in regard to funding E911 because the surcharge on phone bills are not enough to cover the costs of providing E911 service. The city currently pays 65 percent of the cost and the county provides 35 percent, as well as the facility that houses E911 and the command center.

“Recently, it’s become apparent that the E911 operation can be handled in a more economical fashion without the loss of quality of service provided,” County Attorney Blake Teller told the supervisors during their regular meeting Monday. “The E911 Commission has determined that it would be beneficial to have the director determine how many full and part-time employees are needed at any given time.”

The new interlocal agreement will be presented to city of Vicksburg officials for approval.

Funding for E911 has been a point of contention between the city and county with Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr., promoting the idea of the agency operating on a fixed monthly budget of $46,000. The mayor says the plan would allow Garard to budget the money as needed for the month and thereby cost the city and county less.

The supervisors have balked at the idea.

Last week, Flaggs appointed a committee consisting of Fire Chief Craig Danczyk, city attorney Nancy Thomas and director of administration Doug Whittington to discuss the funding changes with county officials.