Sheriff, chief request upgrades
Emergency 9-1-1 equipment upgrades are expected to be completed by the end of 2015, as announced at a meeting of the city and county joint Law Enforcement Center board on Monday evening at the Pierce County Courthouse.
Currently, the LEC is using equipment owned by United Telephone, however the state, through ITD, will provide equipment, software and training along with the upgrades.
Pierce County Sheriff Josh Siegler and Rugby Police Chief John Rose expressed that the radio system at the LEC will need to be upgraded as well, but that is separate from the 9-1-1 upgrades and is pending the results of a state land mobile radio study.
Discussion was held on financials.
The wireless fund, which started last year with a balance of about $11,000, brought in about $32,000 in revenue. The only expense incurred was about $6,000, a payment to the N.D. Association of Counties. However, with $25,000 transferred to the E 9-1-1 fund, the balance at year end was about $12,000.
In January 2014, the E 9-1-1 fund starting balance was about $11,000 and it brought in about $20,000 in revenue. E 9-1-1 incurred $30,000 in expenses, ending the year with about $26,000.
For the LEC, the starting balance was about $12,000 and it brought in $274,000 in revenue. $166,000 was transferred to the LEC from the county’s general fund. The LEC incurred more than $180,000 in expenses, about $257,000 in prisoner costs – $228,000 in boarding, $25,000 in medical and about $3,600 in transportation – and $8,000 in drug testing, ending 2014 with an estimated $3,900 balance.
CONCERNS EXPRESSED ON TOWED VEHICLES
Siegler expressed concerns about vehicles that were towed at the county’s expense. Currently 11 cars and one trailer are impounded, some of which are involved in pending criminal cases or were considered traffic hazards. Siegler said the lot the vehicles are on is becoming an “eyesore”.
Siegler inquired as to the possibility of a yearly contract with Brad Odden of Brad’s Towing, one that would be split between the city and county, regarding towed vehicles, as well as a time limit in which they can be reclaimed. Rugby Ward 4 City Council Member Terry Wentz then asked if Odden himself had to have a court order to sell or scrap the vehicles if no one came to reclaim them. Acting Chairman and District 5 County Commissioner David Migler said if there was any way the condition of the impound lot could be alleviated, then it should be done.
Discussion was held on Pierce County Measure 1, the measure on the ballot that, if approved would have increased the emergency services communication fee from $1 a month per communication line to $1.50 per month. In the November election, 52 percent of Pierce County electors voted “no” on the measure. Rose asked if advertising for it should’ve been pushed more. Pierce County States Attorney Galen Mack said if voters didn’t know about it or saw it as a tax, they voted “no”.
A brief discussion was held on cellphone fees for Pierce County residents with P.O. boxes in Rugby and Wolford. If those residents didn’t declare fees should go to Pierce County, the money would then go to either McHenry County or the poorest county in North Dakota.
Also in attendance were Pierce County Auditor-Treasurer Karin Fursather, County Commissioners Mike Brossart (District 1) and Duane Johnston (District 4). Absent were Rugby Mayor Arland Geiszler and Rugby Ward 3 Council Member Jim Hoffert.
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