County elects to cover 911 costs

LISBON – Columbiana County commissioners renewed two maintenance agreements for the countywide 911 system after learning it will take longer than expected to explore consolidation of those operations.

Commissioners agreed at this week’s meeting to renew the maintenance agreement for the East Liverpool Police Department’s computer-aided dispatching (CAD) system for $6,080.

The other service agreement is for maintenance of the voice-recording systems also in place at each of the locations that serve as 911 answering centers – the county sheriff’s office and the East Liverpool, Salem, Columbiana and East Palestine police departments. These annual maintenance agreements with Stephen Campbell & Associates Inc. of Beechwood were renewed for a combined $11,900.

The 911 advisory committee recommended at its April 30 meeting that commissioners renew some of the annual maintenance agreements that were coming due this summer. Commissioners indicated they might hold off while 911 Director Robert Emmons explored combining some of these operations, especially in regards to the CAD and records management systems.

Each 911 answering center has its own CAD and records management system, and the combined maintenance cost is $30,000 per year. Columbiana Police Chief Tim Gladis believes it would be cheaper to purchase and maintain a single combined CAD/records management system capable of serving all five 911 answering centers. Believing it was worth exploring, commissioners deferred acting on the maintenance agreements.

Commissioner Tim Weigle, who is chairman of the 911 advisory committee, reported this week Emmons recently informed him it will take more than a year to purchase and implement a countywide CAD/records management system, and the maintenance agreements would need renewed until that happens.

The first CAD agreement needing renewed was the one with the East Liverpool Police Department, which expired May 31. Weigle said the others will be presented for renewal as they come due.

As mentioned above, commissioners also renewed the maintenance agreements for the voice-recorder systems used by each of the 911 answering centers.