Joint-dispatch center, 2016 budget approved by City Council

By Ryne Turke on February 23, 2016 at 7:15am

Jacksonville City Council established a resolution of execution for the joint dispatch agreement between Morgan County, the City of Jacksonville and Passavant Area Hospital last night.

Even though City Council approved their side of the joint dispatch agreement in December, Morgan County Emergency Services Director Phil McCarty says a few “nuts and bolts” still needed to be ironed out.

Mayor Andy Ezard and McCarty were pleased to see aldermen pass the resolution in unanimous fashion.

“A lot of work has been done to get everybody together and on board. There has been a lot of hurdles and this is one we have overcome. We have discussed who is going to do what and take care of what when it comes to employees. We have worked it out and here we are,” says Ezard.

“This is one of the most exciting things that has happened to this community in years. We will pass the contract along to the county, the hospital will follow that up and address it and then we will be begin the process of building our new joint-dispatch center,” says McCarty.

McCarty says state funding will impact when the joint dispatch center is concluded, but hopes to be operational by December 1st.

In other action, aldermen approved the 2016 budget totaling $13,758,195 and the second reading of an ordinance making appropriations for corporate purposes for fiscal year 2016. Aldermen Steve Warmowski headed a brief discussion on the budget items, which he felt were changed without council approval. Aldermen Ben Tomhave informed the council that the items had been addressed during a previous meeting.

City Council also approved a consensus to search for an Administrative Assistant for Utilities Operation Superintendent Jack Cosner.

After almost a year of deliberation, city council accepted a proposal from Revize Software Systems to create a new website design for Jacksonville. We will have more on that story later this afternoon.