MERRILLVILLE | The Merrillvile Town Council on Tuesday signed on to the E-911 consolidation agreement.
The council in a unanimous vote agreed its dispatch center will close by Dec. 31, 2014. The next day the town will merge into a single countywide communications network mandated by state law.
Town Councilman Richard Hardaway, D-2nd, thanked those who worked on the agreement, including a group of county officials who came to the meeting to answer questions from town officials.
"We look forward to this finally giving Lake County something proud to look forward to," Hardaway said.
Town Attorney John Bushemi said the consolidation with the county will mean a tax savings and improved quality of service for those in Merrillville.
Earlier Tuesday, the Lake County Council voted to enact the interlocal agreement merging 17 police and fire dispatch centers into a single countywide communications network.
Two hours after the County Council vote, the three Lake County commissioners unanimously approved the measure.
All 17 cities and towns that still operate independent police and fire dispatch centers must approve the same interlocal agreement to make consolidated E-911 possible.
Tom Dabertin, a consultant for the county E-911 consolidation, said 11 of the 17 communities are on board with the measure while another seven still need to commit.
The agreement was in jeopardy late last summer when St. John town officials led a group of suburban communities objecting to the county demanding cities and towns contribute tens of millions of income tax dollars for the construction, equipping and operation of the new service.