Archive for Saturday, August 17, 1996

COUNTY BUSINESS THE ISSUE

August 17, 1996

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Douglas County commissioners will consider a 25-cent increase in the monthly 911 charge that is tacked on to Douglas County telephone bills.

For the past six years, Douglas County telephone customers have paid 50 cents a month to help defray costs associated with the countywide 911 emergency telephone service and the county's new computer-aided dispatch system.

The 25-cent increase, which would take effect Jan. 1, would raise about $125,000 more per year.

However, for the past two years the county commission has rejected a similar increase recommendation from the Emergency Communications Advisory Board. Members of that board are Ted McFarlane, Douglas County Ambulance Service director; Lawrence Police Chief Ron Olin; Lawrence Fire Chief Jim McSwain; and Douglas County Sheriff Loren Anderson.

background

If the county grants the request for a 25-cent increase in the monthly telephone tax, the advisory board recommends that the revenue be used to reduce the interest costs on financing for the county's new computer-aided dispatch center.

Funds also could be used to replace the county's emergency radio equipment, which is so outdated that parts may no longer be available. The estimated cost of a new radio system is $500,000.

The advisory board also is looking ahead to an anticipated expansion of the dispatch center, which is located in the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center. Space is expected to open up when the new jail opens in January 1999. New work stations and console equipment for a larger center are estimated to cost $60,000.

other business

  • Settle by coin toss an August primary tie vote in the race for Republican precinct committeewoman in Lawrence's first precinct of the fourth ward. Bernice Todd and Marianne Horvath each received 43 votes.
  • Consider request to sell a facsimile machine in the county treasurer's office.
  • Consider request to advertise for highway salt.
  • Consider request to reject bids for public works storage buildings and to turn the construction project over to county crews.

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