In Oct. 21 IssueBy Kim GrahamTimes Journal Reporter
Russell Springs City Council was the fourth and final entity to unanimously approve the interlocal agreement to keep 911 Dispatch in Russell County at their regularly scheduled meeting last week.
Mayor DeHart said measures to identify permanent funding sources should begin immediately once the 12 month interlocal agreement is in place.
"(The proposed) interlocal agreement…is going to put to rest, at least for a year, the problem with the 911 system," said Mayor DeHart. "During that year, there's going to have to be plans and arrangements instituted that will have to solve this problem."
He said the Russell County Natural Gas Board presented a dividend check to the city of Russell Springs for $25,000 which can be used as a temporary funding solution for the program.
"The cost of the program, as you know, will be $24,000 for the next 12 months for the City of Russell Springs, $24,000 from the City of Jamestown, $24,000 from the ambulance service, and whatever else is needed by 911 will be supplied by the fiscal court," Mayor DeHart said. "Now, this cost I'm talking about here certainly can be covered by the dividend paid to the city by the Russell County Gas Authority."
During discussion, Mayor DeHart implored council members to choose wisely and move on toward an agreement.
"I think it would be foolhardy and shortsighted to vote against (the proposed interlocal agreement)," DeHart said. "Therefore, I urge your support and your affirmative vote on this issue. Let's get this behind us and go on about our other business."
Council members shared their previous reservations and commended the new agreement for addressing those concerns.
"At the last meeting I voted no against this proposal but I read this interlocal 911 agreement and I'm really impressed with what I'm reading," said Councilman Ray Barrett. "It explains a lot of stuff that I had problems with and it's all right here in black and white. I'm glad everybody worked hard to get it done."
Councilman Timmy Hudson's concerns regarding the possibility of raising taxes to finance the interlocal agreement were addressed by Mayor DeHart.
"This has nothing whatsoever to do with tax," said DeHart. "This is a project that if we use the money from the gas authority, this is simply a dividend that we are being paid on an investment that we made some ten years ago."
He said currently there are about 250 miles of gas lines and 225 gas customers in Russell County with plans to expand in the future.
"In a few years from now, this gas authority will be a shot in the arm for both cities and the fiscal court because we have more and more people hooking onto it," said Mayor DeHart.
In other happenings at the meeting:
• The 1st reading of Ordinance 2003-13 Model Procurement Code amending the small purchases provision was heard by the council. The ordinance provides that the city may follow state bids for small purchases and not have to go through the bidding process for each purchase.
• The City Council voted to accept Charles Gossett as a member of the Code Enforcement Board to replace the seat left vacant by Kenvie Reese.
• Mayor DeHart read a proclamation for Eagle Scout Coy Edward Coomer to be highly commended and held in a place of high esteem in his community. All city council members signed the proclamation.
• A sidewalk grant for Maple Street is approved and the city should be notified soon that they can advertise for bids. The city will apply a second time for a sidewalk grant for Lakeway Drive.
• The City of Russell Springs will observe Halloween Trick or Treating Saturday, Oct. 30th between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.
• The Russell Springs Christmas Parade will be November 26th beginning at dusk. There is a plan to have a Santa Claus light a large Christmas tree at Chalybeate Springs Park after the parade. There will also be local churches performing a musical show at the event.