By BRADEN LAMMERS
The first steps are underway to consolidate Clark County’s emergency 911 systems, as required by the state.
A nine-member steering committee for consolidating the system was formed to help the county fall in line with a state mandate to consolidate five dispatch centers into one center by Dec. 31, 2014. If the county does not consolidate its emergency call centers, it will lose state funding, about $1 million annually.
The committee consists of one representative from Sellersburg, one representative from Charlestown, two representatives from Clarksville, Jeffersonville and Clark County as well as Dr. Kevin Burke with the Clark County Health Department.
“Really, what was talked about today is what would be the best way to start consolidating,” said Clark County Commissioners Attorney Jake Elder during a Wednesday meeting.
“This is the farthest its gone in the last three years,” he said of the consolidation effort.
The steering committee is working to develop an interlocal agreement to consolidate the 911 centers now, because there are so many municipalities involved, Elder explained.
“This is the first step in a very long process,” he said. “We want each entity to have their say.”
In order to move the consolidation effort forward, the steering committee agreed to establish two separate boards. One board will be the operational board consisting of non-elected emergency services personnel, Elder said.
“They’re going to establish the operating policies,” he said.
That board will consist of one appointment from the Jeffersonville and Clarksville Fire Departments; one appointment from the Jeffersonville and Clarksville Police Departments; one appointment from the Sellersburg Police Department; one from the Charlestown Police Department; the county health officer; one representative from the Clark County Sheriff’s Department; and one representative from the unincorporated Clark County volunteer fire departments.
Out of the operational board, one person will be appointed to the fiscal board, which will also act as the administrative body for the group.
In addition to the one individual from the operational board, Jeffersonville holds two appointments to the fiscal board — one by the mayor and one by the city council; two appointments from Clarksville — one by the town council president and one by the town council; one appointment from the Sellersburg Town Council president; and one appointment from the Charlestown mayor.
Elder said the appointments were based on populations.
The next meeting for the steering committee is scheduled for 10 a.m. July 10 in the Clark County Commissioners’ room on the fourth floor of the Clark County Government Building, 501 E. Court Ave. in Jeffersonville.