In July 24-30 issue By Greg Wells Times Journal Managing Editor
JAMESTOWN - With a single vote in opposition the Russell County Fiscal Court approved the proposal to place the county’s dispatch service under the auspices of the Russell County Ambulance Board.
There were questions from the gallery, questions from the magistrates and from the media regarding the new inter-local agreement.
In its present incarnation, the 911 Dispatch Center has been managed by a supervisor, who answered to a board composed of the heads of the three law enforcement agencies in the county, as well as the ambulance service director and one fire chief. The fire chiefs shared this seat on a rotating basis.
The dispatch center had been relocated from the basement of the courthouse to the basement of the ambulance building when that new facility was completed. At that time there was an expectation of a merger, but it was dismissed by the newly elected Mickey Garner.
Garner, as County Judge-Executive, said then there had been no plans by him to combine the two, that such must have been the plans of the previous county judge.
Since the first of the year, in an apparent reversal of opinion, Garner has been negotiating with the mayors of Russell Springs and Jamestown to place dispatch operations completely under the ambulance board.
The two mayors were interested from the start, citing elimination of the $3,500 a month transferred from their budgets to fund the center as their main motivation.
During Friday’s discussion the question of who drafted the agreement and queries over some of the wording brought County Attorney Mark McGaha into the fray.
He said that his assistant and staff drafted the agreement and said they had researched the legal foundation for the plan.
Though the final draft voted on by the fiscal court and the two cities were the same, the version passed by the Ambulance board was an earlier version, with substantive differences.
There has been no mention of addressing that issue before the agreement is passed along for consideration in Frankfort, and the ambulance board has no meetings scheduled this week, at the time of this publication.
In other action before the court, magistrates approved a trial program for workers at the Russell County Road Department. In a unanimous vote the magistrates approved a four-day work week until October for those workers.
Garner said it would save the county money on fuel, since the crews working out in the county would drive equipment out and back to the work sites from the county barn one-day less.
They also approved a late bill for items purchased at Office Depot.
Those were the only items on the agenda, and by law county and city governmental bodies can consider only items on the agenda during a special called meeting.
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