Joint resolution by E-911 consolidation holdouts headed for vote

2014-03-14T19:15:00Z 2014-03-14T21:35:19Z Joint resolution by E-911 consolidation holdouts headed for voteSusan Erler susan.erler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com

ST. JOHN | A vote by town officials is expected later this month on a joint agreement by four communities who have yet to sign on to the consolidated E-911 network.

Town Council members on Thursday were given copies of the resolution which the holdout communities want acknowledged by Lake County officials before they will sign on to the network.

A vote on the resolution is expected at the Town Council March 27 meeting, Council President Michael Forbes said. By that time, it is expected town officials in Highland and Cedar Lake will have had opportunity to vote on the resolution. Schererville officials approved the measure earlier this week.

Forbes said the resolution lists the outstanding concerns the four communities have and ratifies "that we're all on the same page."

Once the resolution has been approved by all four communities, the Lake County Council will be asked at its April meeting to acknowledge it, Forbes said.

"Then the four communities will join into the interlocal agreement," Forbes said. "At least that is the plan."

St. John officials had expressed concern over how emergency calls in the smaller communities will be handled in a consolidated system, and how the consolidation will be financed.

Lake County Council members earlier this month gave public assurances the start-up costs and yearly operational expenses will be borne by the county without levying additional property taxes.

The county council voted March 11 to borrow $20 million to launch the service. The decision is pending Lake County Commissioners approval.

State law requires the current 17 city, town and county police and fire dispatch centers to merge by the end of the year. 

All but Cedar Lake, Highland, St. John and Schererville have signed on to the new service.

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