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E-911 plan still stalled by Lauderdale County Supervisors

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Jan. 3, 2001
Despite requests from Supervisors Craig Hitt and Ray Boswell and Meridian Fire Chief Bunky Partridge, the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors did not vote Tuesday to increase surcharges the first step in a proposed plan to alleviate an E-911 dispatcher shortage.
Partridge addressed the board as a member of the E-911 Commission board.
District 1 Supervisor Hank Florey said he hasn't seen a written proposal, and can't vote for "something I haven't seen."
Board attorney Les Prichard said he completed a draft of the proposal last week. District 2 Supervisor Jimmie Smith said he never got a copy.
Smith also wanted to delay the vote.
The solution proposed by a joint city-county committee calls for increasing surcharges from 50 cents to $1 for residential lines, and 90 cents to $2 for commercial lines. Meridian and Lauderdale County would split the additional costs.
He said he has other concerns, including city dispatchers transferring to other positions and Metro Ambulance dispatchers' concerns.
He would not say whether he thinks Metro will be consolidated with E-911 dispatchers which the proposal also recommends. The board is expected to vote on the surcharge increase at its next board meeting on Jan. 16.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.