In Feb. 21-27 issue By Greg Wells Times Journal Managing Editor
JAMESTOWN - The question remains: Who will have oversight of the county's 9-1-1 emergency dispatch center and who will pay for it, according to some of those on the board.
Jamestown Fire Chief Tony Wright said the finances are his major concern at the moment.
"I think the issue that needs to be addressed is the funding," Wright said. He said that under the present arrangement the dispatch board has to ask for money from the cities, the county and the ambulance board if they need anything more than what they had last year and dispatchers haven't had a raise in years.
As to the question of who will oversee the operations of the department that question seems to be tangled with the question of funding. Wright said that there is renewed talk of putting the dispatch operations under the wing of the Ambulance Board, but not the one presently sitting.
"Mickey Garner said the magistrates have told him they wanted to change all the sitting board members," Russell Springs Police Chief Joseph M. Irvin said.
This was a statement confirmed by others in attendance at the meeting. Irvin, who is presently the head of the dispatch board said magistrates he has spoken with indicated that was not what they had in mind.
It was also reported that Mark Coots, the ambulance service director, told the members of the dispatch board that it has become clear to him that there is an effort to have him pushed aside at the ambulance service and replaced with someone else.
Another topic addressed at the morning meeting on Feb. 14 was the make-up of the dispatch board itself.
Board seats rotate between the chiefs of the four fire departments in the county, with the chiefs of police holding the other seats, along with the sheriff and the ambulance service director.
Ron McGaha is the fire chief at Eli Fire Department. He is also employed as the county's 9-1-1 mapping coordinator, which services the dispatch center, and is the husband of the dispatch supervisor.
Wright said it was pointed out that being all of those things as well as a member of the board could represent a conflict of interest.
Irvin said that issue hasn't yet been settled.
Another meeting of the board is not scheduled until next month.
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
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120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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Jamestown KY 42629