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Officials Considering E911 Consolidation With Macon Co.
By Echo Menges
The Director of Macon County’s Enhanced 911 (E911) system, Michael Kindle, and Macon County E911 Center Board member, Stan East, met with the Knox County Commissioners Monday morning, October 31, 2011 to propose E911 consolidation of the counties. A representative from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, deputy Ryan Bishop, and a representative from the Knox County Ambulance District, Brian Banks also attended the meeting.
Should Knox County officials decide to consolidate with Macon County’s E911 Center the county would pay Macon County E911 Center a flat yearly fee. In return 911 calls made, either by a landline or a cell phone, for ambulance, fire and law enforcement would be dispatched from one dispatching center in Macon.
This year Knox County has approximately $62,000 budgeted to pay for dispatching through the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, which pays for law enforcement dispatching in the county.
The Knox County Ambulance District has a separate dispatch center where they dispatch ambulances and the fire department with an annual budget of approximately $65,000.
The City of Edina chips in by paying one full time dispatcher through the county and giving the Ambulance District $5,000 to help pay for fire dispatching, so the City of Edina is spending approximately $20,000 yearly.
Add everything together and taxpayers are paying close to $150,000 annually for dispatching services within Knox County.
Macon County E911 is offering a superior service compared to what is being done in Knox County now at a third of the cost, which is $65,000 the first year and $50,000 a year for two years after that. Kindle speculated the cost could drop even lower as more counties consolidate with the Macon County E911 Center down the road.
Knox County Commissioners have not made a decision as of yet whether to consolidate with the Macon County E911 Center.