With four of seven cities submitting payment for Central Dispatch services, the county is closer to closing the financial gap for the center. Closer, but still underfunded.
At the Nov. 14 Sharp County Quorum Court meeting, Judge Joe Stidman said Sidney, Williford, Highland and Cave City had committed to pay the county for dispatch services for the last quarter of 2005.
"Everybody needs to get online with that," JP Greg Prenger said. "They need to step up and pay for central dispatch. I think it's something that needs to be done. They need to pay the bill. It's not 9-1-1 and I want to make that clear. It's dispatch."
Evening Shade, Ash Flat and Hardy haven't gotten back to the judge regarding the request for fees. The Hardy City Council referred the issue to its budget committee at its Nov. 15 council meeting.
Cherokee Village paid the sheriff's office $606 with a notation that the check is for the city's portion of ACIC fees, Stidman said.
Sharp County Chief Deputy Rickey Crook attended the Nov. 17 Cherokee Village council meeting.
Crook said the 9-1-1 fees on county residents' telephone bills is sufficient to cover one person working one shift of dispatch. The problem is that the county works three shifts with two dispatchers on two shifts and one dispatcher on the shift from midnight to 8 a.m.
Cherokee Village Mayor Ray Maynard said the 9-1-1 surcharge on phones just in Cherokee Village amounts to approximately $21,000 a year.
"Why pay for two ACIC terminals when you just have one person most of the time?" Maynard asked.
"I wouldn't consider one shift out of three as most of the time," Crook said.
Alderman Peter Martin suggested the city and county enter into a contract so both sides are sure of what they are getting for the money.
Alderman Russ Stokes said using the state turnback formula is not equitable. The fees divided between the cities and county should be based on usage, he said.
"I don't think that's an appropriate way to do it," he said, adding that the county JPs could increase the county millage rate to solve the funding problem instead, but could jeopardize their chances at reelection.
In other business, the court agreed to ask area schools to submit a proposal before receiving funds the county received from Act 799. County extension agent Joe Moore asked the court to use the funds to pay for two two-day camps for area 4-H clubs.
The county received the $9,835.31 check on Nov. 10. The county gave the funds to the schools last year, Stidman said.
Cave City schools hosted a "Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs" program and a hunting program with the funds, JP Jeral Hastings said, adding that the school was counting on the funds again this year.
JP Dennis Burton asked to see a proposals from the schools as well to determine where the funds would be best served.
"Either plan is going to benefit the students of this county," JP Darrell Kehrli said.
The court accepted the 2006 budget with an emergency clause. The budget includes a 4-percent raise for county employees.
The court learned the county had finished work on the bridge on Martin Creek Road. The road crew also completed work on the pad for the health department. The jail addition is open.