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County withdraws comm center deadline
December 12, 2013 Jerry Purvis   

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Scotts Bluff County has withdrawn its deadline for termination of emergency communications services in its original interlocal agreement with Gering and Minatare.

The county’s proposal set a Dec. 17 deadline for municipalities to sign on to the agreement and submit the first year of funding or risk losing service from the 911 center.

After Dec. 17, the emergency comm. center would have stopped dispatch service for non-emergency calls. After Jan. 31, 2014, emergency services would have ceased.

In a letter to Gering City Attorney Jim Ellison, County Attorney Doug Warner said the county had withdrawn the agreement’s deadlines and will continue 911 services to Gering and Minatare.

Because of the withdrawal, a scheduled hearing before District Judge Randall Lippstreu became moot and was cancelled.

Ellison said the motion for temporary injunction was dismissed without prejudice, meaning the city can re-file in the future, if it becomes necessary.

Two of the major issues Gering and Minatare have with the county’s agreement are who is responsible for maintenance of the emergency backup system. Also, the two cities object to the open-ended agreement and think a three-year term is sufficient and could be renegotiated at that time.

Gering had approved their own revised agreement to remedy those objections, but the county board said they wouldn’t honor any agreement but their own.

In the complaint, Gering also claimed the county didn’t give the required 180-day notice of termination in a letter dated June 30 to the county’s 10 municipalities.

“I’m hoping we can all sit down and work through this and come up with an agreement that’s acceptable to everyone,” Ellison said.
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