Council votes to move E911

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 12, 2003

The City of Selma is geared to join with Dallas County and the Enhanced 911 board in its decision to move the E-911 communications center. Some restrictions may apply.

In a 6 – 3 vote Monday night, the Selma City Council chose to move with the center from 12 Franklin St. to 311 Dallas Ave. and have the county administer its operations. It also voted to begin negotiations with the board on lowering the $216,000 Selma would have to pay for the service.

Council members Glenn Sexton, Rita Sims Franklin, Nancy Sewell, B.L. Tucker, James Durry and President George Evans voted in favor of the motion. Council members Jean Martin, Sam Randolph and Bennie Ruth Crenshaw opposed.

The E-911 board voted unanimously at a March 31, 2003, meeting to move its center because of the building’s condition. Mayor James Perkins Jr. and Martin cited the historic district and homeland security issues as reasons not to move.

Monday night Perkins pointed to a number of additional reasons why the council needed to reexamine the board’s proposal. Perkins said that Selmians are part of the E-911 district, yet they pay the most for the service. Perkins also noted that Selmians pay taxes to the county, but sometimes don’t get all the services county residents enjoy.

At a Monday meeting of the board, County Commission and City Council, board member Brett Howard said the original proposal to the city didn’t change anything about the service except the center’s location. Under the current proposal, the county would administer the center’s operations and the city would pay $216,000 &045;&045; a savings of about $30,000 for the city, according to Howard.

According to Sewell, Selma paid $252,000 last year.

Selma Fire Department Chief Henry Allen said that if the city had to ring down its E-911 calls, it would lose its ISO rating of four.

ISO ratings play a role in the cost of homeowner’s insurance. The lower the number, the better the rating. Selma reached an ISO rating of four this year.

If Selma had declined to join with the county and E-911 at the center’s new location, it would have had to use a ring down system to dispatch emergency calls without its own communications center.

Perkins agreed and said he wasn’t opposed to the county running the service. &uot;But don’t take the project and then turn around and make me fund it,&uot; he added.

Sewell then made the motion to move with the board, which was seconded by Tucker.