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Decisions on 911 funding postponed another month

Published: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 9:23 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 5:50 p.m. CDT

MORRIS – A technicality kept the Emergency Telephone System Board – or 911 board – from voting on a proposed and much-debated intergovernmental agreement during Wednesday’s 911 board meeting.

The agreement determines the cost burden for each of the 14 agencies using the newly-consolidated dispatching services.

Minooka Police Chief Justin Meyer argued that the 911 board did not formerly approve the proposed agreement at the committee level before sending it to the full board to be approved.

“Basically, there was no discussion on the agreement that was presented. It was only presented via email,” Meyer said. “No other parties were able to discuss it in an open meeting.”

The agreement was openly discussed during last month’s 911 board meeting and was included on the agenda for last week’s 911 executive committee.

“There was no recommendation from the [911 Executive committee] to the ETSB,” Meyer said.

However, out of last week’s committee meeting, a formal resolution recommending the agreement to the 911 board was never passed. The board agreed to send the agreement back to committee for more discussion and proper passage.

This will add another month to the process. The board set May 17 – the next full board meeting – as the deadline and intend to vote on the agreement at that time.

Meyer and Coal City Administrator Matt Fritz both said they wanted to change language in the agreement as it is written.

Fritz had emailed his changes to the board’s acting attorney, Scott Belt, but Meyer declined to talk about the problems he had with the agreement because he wanted to wait until the next committee meeting.

“I have a couple suggestions which I would like to discuss at the [911 Executive Committee],” Meyer told the board.

During last month’s full board meeting, Meyer raised objections to the financial contribution from the county and attended the Grundy County Finance Committee to request changes.

Meyer was unsuccessful at the finance meeting as the county said it was unwilling to change the figures. It is unclear whether his current concerns still are hinged on the county’s contribution.

Other 911 board members expressed frustration at the holdup.

“You know, when the cake is made and it’s already frosted, it’s ready to be cut and somebody says ‘Oh I want a different ingredient in there.’ How long do we go on with this,” ETSB member Dick Joyce said.

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