However, he said, the deadline — two years after voters approved the financing mechanism for the system — is not set in stone, and while he expects work to be completed in time, the county faces no real penalty if there are short delays.
Davenport said Friday the necessary funding is in place for the required work, and renovations to an area in the Emergency Medical Systems headquarters on Mulberry Heights should begin this week. Electrical upgrades, relocation of a door and other work in the training area, which will house the dispatch center, are planned, and contractors have been hired.
“It is reasonable to think we are still in the realm of being up and running at the first of the year,” Davenport said. “It depends on how the remodeling goes along and how long it takes to install the computer equipment.”
That equipment, to be purchased and installed by Emergitech of Columbus, will be placed at the EMS building, the primary dispatch location, and the sheriff’s department, the secondary location.
EMS and sheriff’s office employees are expected to man the dispatch desks, Davenport said, without the hiring of any additional staff people.
In November 2006, voters approved a 50-cent monthly telephone line charge to finance the 911 service, and villages and townships recently approved an amendment to the county’s 911 plan allowing E-911 service to be provided at the time the system begins operating.
Commissioners expected the local telephone charge would generate around $40,000 each year, but it is now expected to generate more. The state will provide as much as $90,000 per year, under proposed legislation, to counties offering E-911 service. That service allows dispatchers to locate callers using cellular telephones.
The county has also received $100,000 in Appalachian Regional Commission funding, and a line of credit through Farmers Bank and Savings Co. to help finance the installation of the equipment for the service.