Equipment has nowhere to go

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

Sheriff Tom Williams told Allen County commissioners Tuesday he would purchase new equipment for the county’s 911 emergency dispatch center. The question is where the equipment will be placed.
For years Allen County and Iola have co-operated a dispatch center in City Hall. The sheriff and others prefer a more secure location with an Emergency Management Services operations center attached.
No site was mentioned Tuesday, although Dick Works, Commission chairman from Humboldt, said, “We’ve talked enough. Maybe it’s time to do something.”
The basement of the former Emprise Bank building in Humboldt, with Humboldt’s City Hall above, has been discussed, as has incorporating 911 and emergency operations centers with a county ambulance station.
Commissioners will have a hearing May 26 to consider a design-built approach to constructing an ambulance station on land the county already owns in Gas. A revenue reversal that commissioners may have to deal with later this year will be considered in that proposal.
The 2009 budget’s general fund depends on interest income of $320,000. By this point in the year, typically 33 percent of that money has been realized; this year, only 11 percent has. That rate could lead to a deficit of $200,000 for the year.

PAM BEASLEY, Emergency Management director, told commissioners she spent last Friday in Wilson County, assisting with recovery from damage caused by straight-line winds. Winds of more than 120 miles an hour caused substantial structure damage and left a New Albany woman dead.
Beasley also helped arrange delivery of a large generator from the Iola National Guard armory to Thayer, where it was used to power the town’s water plant.
“Fortunately, we didn’t have nearly as much damage locally as elsewhere in southeast Kansas and I’m glad I was able to help out,” she said. “We have a tight emergency management network in this part of the state.”
Beasley and Bryan Murphy, a master deputy in the sheriff’s department, will attend an emergency management training session in Pittsburg Friday.