Saturday 20th July 2024

911 Governing Board Confronts Budget and Interlocal Agreement Challenges

The 911 Governing Board discusses amendments to last year's budget and explores options for the center's future.

The 911 Governing Board discusses amendments to last year's budget and explores options for the center's future.

The 911 Governing Board, which oversees the Barren-Metcalfe Emergency Communications Center, convened on Tuesday to discuss critical issues affecting the center’s operations. The meeting, held at the communications center in Glasgow, featured a review of the proposed 2024-25 budget and a contentious debate over the redrawing of the counties’ interlocal agreement.

The budget review quickly became the focal point of the meeting.

Barren County Judge-Executive Jamie Bewley-Byrd raised significant concerns about the absence of a line item for salaries in the proposed budget.

The board members mostly concurred but had varying ideas on how to solve this due to the unorthodox way in which the center operates across the two counties. One solution that garnered discussion was that the communication center would be its own entity which in some respects would streamline some of its operations. Byrd and Board member Gary Fancher explored this solution.

Citing time constraints, the board passed the proposed budget.

Following the budget discussion, the board tackled the ongoing issue of revising the interlocal agreement between Barren and Metcalfe counties. This agreement, which outlines the operational and financial responsibilities shared by the counties and municipalities, has been a point of friction for several years.

At the previous board meeting, there was a general consensus that the new draft of the agreement was satisfactory. This consensus came after Barren County and Glasgow acknowledged and removed three concerns brought to their attention by Brian Pack, Edmonton’s City Attorney as reflected in last meetings minutes.

Byrd, Fancher and Mayor Henry Royse discussed this further.

Ultimately, no action was taken on the agreement as no parties present had a copy of the revised agreement with Byrd ending the discussion with a promise to reach out to both attorneys involved for clarification.

As the meeting concluded, it was clear that the 911 Governing Board has significant work ahead. Concurrently with its budget, the board must continue to work through the complexities of the interlocal agreement to reach a consensus that satisfies all stakeholders.

The next board meeting is scheduled for late June, where both issues are expected to be revisited. In the interim, board members will likely engage in additional discussions and consultations to facilitate smoother progress.

About the Barren-Metcalfe Emergency Communications Center:  The Barren-Metcalfe Emergency Communications Center provides critical 911 services to residents of Barren and Metcalfe counties, ensuring timely and efficient emergency response. The center’s operations are overseen by the 911 Governing Board, which includes representatives from both counties and the cities of Edmonton and Glasgow.