By MATT KOESTERS
JEFFERSONVILLE — The Clark County Commissioners tabled a month-to-month agreement with AT&T for 911 services at their regular meeting Thursday, citing lack of financial support from the county’s municipalities.
Clark County 911 Administrator Brad Meixell presented the agreement to the commissioners, which would cost the county $16,500 per month. The county’s first agreement with AT&T, which included the up-front equipment and networking required for the system, cost $25,000 per month.
But Commissioners John Perkins and Rick Stephenson both signaled that they didn’t want to move forward with the agreement without the county’s cities and towns footing some of the bill.
“The problem is, if you figure that the unincorporated part of Clark County is, give or take, 20 percent [of the county’s population,] then the other 80 percent needs to be paid by the municipalities in the incorporated areas,” Perkins said.
Stephenson agreed with Perkins by saying that he couldn’t support signing an agreement where the municipalities aren’t paying their fair share.
Before allowing the motion to table the agreement to go to a vote, Commissioners’ President Jack Coffman asked Meixell if the agreement was delayed.
“I don’t expect AT&T to just cut us off,” Meixell responded.
“Jeffersonville and Clarksville were on board with us for a while,” said County Councilman Kevin Vissing. “I hope they still are.”
“I think the municipalities want to be on board, but they also want to have a say in the monies,” Coffman said after the meeting. “They don’t just want to contribute to the 911 system from their LOIT funds, or whatever funds they decide to use, and not have any input on the way the 911 system operates. That’s understandable.”
The commissioners will revisit the issue at their next meeting on Jan. 31.
ANIMAL SHELTER AGREEMENT CLOSE?
The commissioners unanimously voted to reaffirm their support in principle for an agreement reached between the board and members of the Jeffersonville City Council in the fall relating to the funding of the J.B. Ogle Animal Shelter.
The agreement was never ratified by the Jeffersonville City Council because of the timing, Perkins said.
“They wanted to delay it until after the election, because at that time the election process was rolling,” Perkins said. “So it never proceeded from that. But the agreement was reached and ... it was, I feel, fair for the county and fair for the city. Some back monies were going to be paid. Monies in the future were lined out.”
Details of the agreement were not disclosed. The Jeffersonville City Council is scheduled to meet Tuesday.
Although a formal interlocal agreement between the county and the city of Jeffersonville to fund the shelter has not been in place since 1999, the county annually paid $66,000 through 2009. Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore has said at previous commissioners’ meetings that the county owes Jeffersonville $198,000.
The council unanimously approved authorization of a request for proposal for a road providing a direct route from the River Ridge Commerce Center to Clark County Regional Airport.
The county received $2 million in credits from the Indiana Department of Transportation when it took over the Lewis and Clark Parkway overpass over Browns Station Way in Clarksville. Those credits can be applied to the 20 percent of total costs the county pays on INDOT-approved projects, which means if the road costs less than $10 million, the county would essentially pay nothing. Perkins says that’s very possible.
“If the project is $10 million or less, we’re done,” he said.
The commissioners made three appointments at the meeting.
To the Clark County Board of Aviation Commissioners, the county commissioners appointed Matthew Lowe. Lowe is an employee of the Army Corps of Engineers and a graduate of the engineering program at Purdue University.
To the Clark County Common Wage Board, the commissioners appointed Jennifer McFarland. Finally, the commissioners re-appointed Jim Becker to the Clark-Floyd Counties Convention and Tourism Bureau.