Weather Forecast


PSAP group agrees on financial contribution

WORTHINGTON -- Several subjects that stopped the regional dispatch group in its tracks last week were breezed through with relative ease Tuesday during a joint powers subcommittee meeting at the Prairie Justice Center.

Last week, Worthington City Administrator Craig Clark argued firmly that the city's votes on the joint powers agreement (JPA) should be weightier than other entity votes because of the larger population and call volume. Unable to reach an agreement, the group tables the decision.

Tuesday, Clark barely blinked as the group decided each of the eight representatives would count as one vote and a simple 50 percent plus one majority would suffice for decisions, which will require a minimum of five votes to pass.

Rock County Administrator Kyle Oldre, who has been presiding over the group, asked the members to go over a list of seven questions and the answers that were mostly reached during last week's meeting.

It was decided last week and clarified Tuesday that each of the four entities -- Rock, Murray and Nobles Counties and the city of Worthington, will have two elected officials on the joint powers board. Those elected officials will consist of commissioners or city council members.

An Operations Advisory Board (OAB) comprised of 16 members will have representation from each entity for law enforcement, fire department, emergency managements and ambulance. The OAB will define what constitutes a "call." Because the call volume of each entity will be used to set 50 percent of the financial contribution for each entity, a definition needs to be standardized.

"I'm confident we're not counting calls the same right now," Oldre stated, pointing out current figures that show Rock County with the highest volume of calls.

The other 50 percent of the financial contribution will be determined by population. A somewhat heated discussion took place on whether the capital costs should be split equally between all four entities, with Oldre stepping in toward the end.

"There is a compromise here someplace and I'm hoping we find it, because right now I'm not seeing it," Oldre said after telling Worthington City Councilman Ron Wood he "couldn't have things both ways."

At that point, the group decided collectively to return to the 50/50 contribution based on population and calls.

In deciding which entity will be the fiscal host for the PSAP, it was decided to invite all entities to submit a request for proposal (RFP) on the service and to possibly hold the bonds on equipment if needed. Murray County Commissioner Kevin Vickerman suggested the fiscal host should be whichever entity hosted the dispatch center so payroll could be done from one building, but others in the group stated payroll could be done anywhere through the use of technology.

Earlier in the meeting, Vickerman had questioned the validity of votes that took place through consensus of the group before any legal structure was in place, and stated he would still like Slayton to be considered as a site for the PSAP.

"Will Murray County go out if (the dispatch center) is in Nobles County?" Wood asked.

Vickerman stated that was not the case, but that his board was still looking for information regarding funding, location, numbers and "the whole package" before deciding to commit.

"Nobody is going to sign anything until they see the costs," Wood agreed a short time later.

Oldre informed the committee the report they were anticipating from a technology firm regarding firm numbers and equipment needs would not be available until the end of November, but that the contract attorney working on the JPA planned to have a draft at the Nov. 8 meeting.