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Pulaski 911 expects less 2009 revenue

PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 12, 2008) — Members of the Pulaski County 911 Board gave tentative approval Thursday afternoon to a $968,665 budget for 2009. That’s a slight decrease from this year’s budget of $972,278, based on a projected decline in sales tax revenue next year.

Pulaski County 911 Director Michelle Graves said she prepared the budget based on the current year’s receipts and said setting a lower target for next year appears to be inevitable.

“That’s because of revenue,” Graves said. “We didn’t get as much revenue as we did last year.”

The 2009 budget includes a 12.9 percent increase in medical insurance premiums and dental insurance with Humana went up from $38.20 to $40.55 per month.

Board member Olaf Jensen asked about medical insurance alternatives.

“Isn’t there anything cheaper?” Jensen asked.

Probably not, Graves said.

“We have such a good plan; we have a $250 deductible and about a $20 co-pay. It really is a good deal,” Graves said.

Despite the lower budget, the 911 Board will continue to buy new equipment for its operations. Board members voted to pay $15,432 to HP for a new server for the computer-aided dispatching system with a new three-com switch and setup by Global Communications for a total of $21,205; a second bid was also received by Global Software to do the entire job for $29,217.

The equipment is “the best thing they have out there,” Graves said.

“I called them to ask why the difference in the same thing; they said it’s because it’s a Missouri governmental order and HP has a contract with the state,” Graves said.

Responding to questions from the chair, 911 director said her dispatchers were able to handle incoming phone calls for the Pulaski County Jail during a recent power outage. That included providing criminal data over the Missouri Uniform Law Enforcement System for deputies as needed.

Most calls to the sheriff’s department, however, were on other matters.

“A lot of it was, ‘Can I talk to the jail,’” Graves said. “A lot of people want to talk to the jail about when they can bring down belongings, but as far as calls for service, it was very few.”

In other business:

• Board members elected Becky Wood as treasurer and elected Jensen as vice-chairman. The 911 Board chairman is elected directly by the voters, who in December decided to return Paul Slater for a second four-year term as the county’s 911 board chairman. Slater defeated challenger Drew Cassidy by a wide margin for that seat.

• Board members filled out new bank signature cards following an incident in which Wood said Bank of Crocker employees had declined to give her documents that had been sent from one branch to another until bank employees at the second branch verified they were allowed to do so.

• Board members agreed to appoint a subcommittee that will review sick leave pool requests.

• Graves said 911 staff members participated in the Laquey, Crocker and Waynesville Christmas parades last weekend, as well as the shop-with-a-cop emergency services day, and will participate in Saturday’s Richland Christmas parade.

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