In June 24 IssueBy Greg WellsTimes Journal Managing Editor
According to Board Chairman James Gray county government now has 120 days until they are responsible for operations at the 911 Emergency Dispatch Center.
Gray said the Russell County Ambulance Board dissolved the interlocal agreement that had placed the responsibility for dispatch services under their auspices.
"It is pretty obvious that 911 has been a drain on the ambulance service's budget," said Gray.
He quickly added, "911 needs to stay in the county. The county just needs to fix the budget, the way it is funded. Dispatch doesn't need to go to (state police) post in my opinion."
But he said there are things that need to be addressed at the ambulance service.
"You can't tell by their budget sheets what money went where for what," Gray said.
He added that there was discussion of a new auditing firm and even of requesting an audit by the Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Crit Luallen.
Gray indicated he felt that there may be a great many things had not been handled properly or at the least in a timely manner prior to the new board coming in.
As to the budget going forward, Gray said the board refused the budget presented.
"We had questions about the figures," Gray said.
He said another special called meeting will be necessary to pass a budget, the deadline is next Wednesday.
The board did not have the dispatch board's issues on its agenda.
"The Link Board is the controlling body for the 911 center," Gray explained. He said it would be up to them to straighten out any issues or problems relating to the operations of the National Crime Information Computer system.
They did take up the issue of the fine and probation assessed on the ambulance service for allowing an uncertified individual to make ambulance runs.
"Athena (Cooper the board's attorney) was able to get the fine reduced to $1,250," Gray said. "We're going to accept our punishment and move on."
They also voted to begin a lawsuit against the firm hired some years ago to collect bad debt, Gray said. He explained that MGM Collections had been given the authority to collect bad debts, for a percentage of the amount of the payments they were able to collect.
He said the board's attorney had tried to get feedback from the company on what was collected and why the ambulance service has seen no money, but he said she got no response.
Another board meeting is expected late this week or early next week.