Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Bellevue agrees to SIRCOMM contract

City would save estimated $12,000 per year


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

The Bellevue City Council voted unanimously Thursday to authorize a contract with the Southern Idaho Regional Communications Center for coverage of the city’s non-emergency dispatch calls, as long as the city of Sun Valley also agrees to join in the agreement.

Hailey has already agreed to sign the contract under the same terms. If Sun Valley agrees to the contract, it would likely go into effect Oct. 1.

Hailey City Attorney Ned Williamson presented the contract to the Bellevue City Council on Thursday, March 28, saying it would eliminate confusion over funding that has existed between Blaine County and the municipalities covered by an E-911 dispatch system since its inception in 2007.

Williamson said the lack of an agreement between the county and cities in the Wood River Valley have produced “endless discussion about who pays for what.”

SIRCOMM operates a consolidated emergency communications system for various fire protection, emergency medical and law enforcement agencies within the counties of Jerome, Twin Falls, Gooding and Lincoln.

“SIRCOMM has been around a long time. This is what they do. I don’t think it’s a public health and safety issue,” Williamson said.

Williamson said the yearly contract would save Bellevue 41 percent on annual dispatch expenses compared to a contract with the county’s E-911 system. That would equal savings of $12,000 each year, he said in an interview.

City Councilman Dave Hattula said the county’s original failure to form a joint powers agreement with Bellevue jeopardized its success five years ago.

“This fell apart from the beginning,” he said.

Tony Evans: tevans@mtexpress.com

 




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