Griffith delays vote on E-911 to study documents

2013-12-21T20:30:00Z 2013-12-21T21:18:07Z Griffith delays vote on E-911 to study documentsCharles F. Haber Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
December 21, 2013 8:30 pm  • 

GRIFFITH | The Griffith Town Council received a recommendation to approve the E-911 consolidation agreement, but members delayed a vote to further study the matter.

The proposal may be on the agenda for the council's year-end business meeting at 9 a.m. Friday, but a vote may not happen until the council addresses some funding concerns, said Council Vice President Rick Ryfa, R-3rd.

Ryfa said Lake County presented a good interlocal agreement for consolidated E-911 services. However, he added that — as with all contracts — the devil is in the details.

"As elected officials, we are obligated to scrutinize the interlocal to determine if the financial promises made by the county are attainable — and will they also have a negative or positive impact on all of the county's citizens," he said.

Police Chief Greg Mance read a letter of recommendation from a special committee created by the council earlier this year.

"Upon detailed review ... the Griffith E-911 committee recommends that the Griffith Town Council sign the agreement drafted by the Lake County 911 commission," Mance said as he read the letter, which was signed by Committee Chairman Gary Sutton.

The committee listed four reasons for joining.

First was the "improved interoperability" offered by the consolidated system.

Other reasons included that the county will assume full responsibility for $19.68 million in capital expenses for the new facility and any additional funding needed. Griffith would make only a one-time payment of $201,228.

The fourth reason was that the county will not hold Griffith responsible for any "claims, demands, damages and liabilities" stemming from the system and its operations.

If the agreement is approved, Griffith will have to determine what kind of new radio equipment it would need to obtain, Ryfa said.

In other business, the council increased some special fees and reduced others.

The Police Department's fee for a vehicle release will go from $20 to $25; nonresident fingerprint fees go from $10 to $20; and a new fee to release a vehicle after an arrest will be $50.

Valuation fees for business signs worth up to $500 will be $30 plus $30 each for footing and electrical inspection fees. Larger signs will have incremental fee increases to a maximum of $250.

Ryfa said some recent signage fees have been almost $1,000 and the council wanted to reduce the cost.

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