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Funds needed for Terrytown communications
May 08, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis
Members of the Terrytown City Council learned they, and the county’s other municipalities, will needs to come up with some additional funding to replace outdated equipment in the county’s emergency communications center.

Council member Chris Perales also serves as Terrytown’s representative on the communication center advisory board. At the last meeting, members learned the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system would need to be replaced soon.

Perales told fellow council members the CAD system can handle a maximum of 10 incoming calls at a time from emergency responders. A major fire or accident could take up to five of those calls if multiple departments respond.

He said comm. center dispatchers can work around the system’s limitations for now, but it’s just a matter of time before it could freeze up entirely.

The advisory board threw out a ballpark estimate to replace the system, which would run in the half-million-dollar range. Members proposed creating a sinking fund to replace the system in three years, which would require additional funding from both the county and the municipalities.

For Terrytown, their annual participation in the comm. center would go from $1,800 to $7,200 for the next three years. City Treasurer Lonnie Miller told the council the city budget could handle the increase.

Perales, who is a Gering police officer, also said the comm. center’s recording system went offline for two days recently, which could bring up liability concerns for the municipalities. Dispatchers told emergency responders to record every call themselves for documentation until the system was up and running again.

In other action, Utilities Superintendent Ken Furrey told the council that crack sealing of the town’s streets would start the week of May 5. The project was pushed back a week because of rain. The streets needed to be dry and swept clean before crack sealing could start.

Also during the meeting, Miller presented council members with the city’s financial statement as of March 31. The keno account currently has $23,886. The city had been without keno revenue until last summer, when Kozy Keno Bar and Grill opened.
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