CROWN POINT | The Lake County Council cut the budget for E-911 communications Tuesday in an admission that a merger of 18 police and fire department dispatch centers is unlikely to take place in 2013.
The council voted Tuesday to reduce spending to $900,000 next year from an estimated $11.6 million on emergency communication equipment purchases and payments to consultants. State law mandates the merger by the end of 2014.
Larry Blanchard, a consultant for county commissioners, said the $11.6 million was an estimate of what it would take to buy not only equipment, but also to renovate and equip two unified call centers.
The council still must address a multimillion-dollar deficit caused by a shortfall in tax collections, new spending in the county jail and rising health care bills for county employees.