911 agreement gets third OK

Local Emergency Management Commission votes 6-3 in favor of 911 services 28E agreement

Another step was taken on a potential agreement for 911 services by the Marshall County Local Emergency Management Commission (LEMC) Wednesday evening.

“There were just a lot of little questions and answers, and a lot of very good discussion, a lot of teamwork,” said Marshall County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) coordinator Kim Elder, who also acts as secretary at LEMC meetings. “They went ahead and made a motion to accept the 28E [agreement], and then the vote was 6-3.”

The agreement would see the formation of a Marshall County Communications Commission to oversee a levy for 911 employee salaries and benefits, currently estimated at $992,412. That funding is currently split between the county and the City of Marshalltown at 38 percent and 62 percent, respectively.

The three “no” votes on the item came from Albion representative Eric Schmidt, Laurel representative Evan Folk and Liscomb Mayor Hank Penner, according to the meeting minutes. The “yes” votes came from Marshall County Board of Supervisors and LEMC Chairman Bill Patten, Marshall County Sheriff Steve Hoffman, Marshalltown Mayor Jim Lowrance, Ferguson Mayor Dale Thompson, Le Grand Mayor Jay Wyatt and Melbourne Mayor John White.

The commission is made up of Marshall County mayors and their designees, along with Patten and Hoffman. It is one of four signatories of a 28E agreement concerning 911 employee salaries and benefits; the other three are the City of Marshalltown, the county supervisors and the county 911 Joint Services Board.

“The only partner that has not voted on it yet would be the Board of Supervisors,” Elder said. “It’s up to them whether or not they want to put it on their next agenda.”

The supervisors tabled the item at the Nov. 28 board meeting due to concerns from some Marshalltown citizens about how potential savings from the agreement would be used by the city.

“Mayor [Jim Lowrance] basically explained that they were addressing questions … that [questions] would be addressed in their budget items in their budget meetings, which are coming up,” Elder said. “It was about a 40-minute discussion just on budgets, how they work, where the money comes from now [and] where it will go if this 28E is passed and the levy is put into place.”

She said there was also agreement that vigilance would be key with the new levy.

“That was something that they were very adamant about, that they wanted to be very careful with the money yet also fund what 911 needed,” Elder said.

She said a LEMC budget hearing is set for 5:30 p.m. Feb. 6, 2018 on the third floor of the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, 2369 Jessup Ave.

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Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com