NC joint 911 center proposal deadline approaching
The grant application process is further complicated by the need to specify how the money will be used.
The Fayetteville Observer, N.C.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A long-discussed proposal to bring together the Fayetteville and Cumberland County emergency dispatch operations now faces a deadline.
County commissioners decided Monday to give the plan one more chance. They voted 6-1 to set a deadline of noon Thursday for the city to respond to a proposal that would co-locate their two 911 dispatch operations with the intention to consolidate in the future.
Commissioner Charles Evans voted against the proposal. He said Tuesday that he thinks the county should move forward on its own.
"We need to get this done," he said. "Let's make this happen."
The county's proposal is the same as one that was worked out by a committee of three commissioners and three members of the City Council last week. The council discussed the proposal, but took no action.
Assistant County Manager Tracy Jackson told commissioners at their meeting Monday that city officials had sent the county a counter-proposal that included four opt-out provisions for the city. Commissioners discussed that proposal briefly, but several said they had just received it Monday and hadn't had a chance to consider it fully.
Commissioner Jimmy Keefe made the motion to give the city a chance to respond.
"I believe we stay with the committee recommendation," Keefe said.
Commissioner Glenn Adams had suggested that the county move forward on its own, but said he would support Keefe's motion if it included a deadline.
Keefe said the City Council has a meeting Wednesday and added the Thursday deadline to his motion.
The county is facing a May 31 deadline to submit an application for a state grant for the facility.
The grant application process is further complicated by the need to specify how the money will be used. If the city agrees to co-locate its emergency dispatch operations in the county building with the intent to consolidate in the future, the application can focus on those plans. Without the city, the county will be seeking funds to offset the cost of construction or new equipment, Jackson said after the meeting.
The grants are based on a points system that is weighted toward governments that want to consolidate their 911 operations, Jackson said. The possibility of getting a grant also can be higher or lower depending on how many other governments submit applications, he said.
The county plans to use a building it bought in November for the emergency operations center. The county purchased the building on Executive Place near Raeford Road for $5.1 million.
Staff writer Steve DeVane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-486-3572.
©2019 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.)