With a common goal to provide better service for local residents, officials from Pottawatomie County and the city of Shawnee are continuing steps toward the possibility of combining their 911 dispatch and communications centers.
Last week, Pottawatomie County commissioners and the Shawnee City Commission signed separate resolutions of agreement showing intent to work together for a combined 911 center. Monday, the Pottawatomie County E-911 System Trust Authority appointed four people to serve on an official study committee.
During the authority's regular meeting, there was discussion about issues relating to combining the centers and that the operation would have to remain in a trust, Chairman J.R. Kidney said.
It's anticipated that the city of Shawnee also will appoint four persons to that same committee, Kidney said, then once in place, the committee can look over assets, options and other issues about reaching a possible contract before reporting back to commissioners for further action.
Appointed to the county committee by the E-911 board were: Kidney, along with Pottawatomie County Commissioner Eddie Stackhouse, County E-911 Director Tommy Arnold and the E-911 authority's legal counsel, Brandi Nowakowski, Kidney said.
During the meeting, Shawnee Police Chief Russell Frantz also presented a PowerPoint presentation to the trust outlining his proposal on combining 911 centers, including the assets that each entity brings to the table for a merger. If the centers combined, they would have a personnel budget of more than $1.1 million, which could handle 25 employees.
The proposal, which also outlines improvements that Shawnee is making to its facility, suggests the location of the combined center would be best in the basement of Shawnee city hall for safety. Frantz outlined that area could be expanded and remodeled for a combined center while city and county officials put together a formal trust or advisory board to serve as oversight.
Watch for updates.