E911 And Emergency Management Discuss Lawsuit And Console

In the opening comments for the E911 Service Board Meeting, Supervisor Mark Groenendyk said he believed a letter sent from the Mahaska County Supervisors to the E911 Service Board was misrepresented. The board has agreed to fund the agency according to the 1991 28E agreement.

According to that document, Groenendyk said he expects the entities involved in the 1991 Agreement to contribute their agreed amount. “The Board of Supervisors will not, however, continue to participate in an illegal funding mechanism. We expected the other member political subdivisions will contribute their fair share as well.”

“We very much hope everyone will abide by the law and not leave anyone’s services unfunded,” added Groenendyk.

Currently, the Mahaska County E911 Service Board has its own board membership and budget allocated through fees collected from phone subscriber fees.

Mahaska County Emergency Management has its own levying power that is granted to it through the state of Iowa in Chapter 29C.

That dispute in how funding is collected is at the center of a lawsuit from the Mahaska County Supervisors, who believe that the 1991 28E agreement should continue to be enforced.

The E911 Board then went into a closed session to discuss strategy regarding the pending litigation.

Groenendyk abstained from participating in the closed session.

Upon returning to the open session, the E911 Board stated they had instructed their attorneys to prepare a response letter to the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors.

Groenendyk questioned if there was action taken during the closed session. “There was discussion held,” replied Board Chairman Russ Van Renterghem.

“So is your letter going to give us a response to our letter,” questioned Groenendyk of Van Renterghem.

“Yes,” replied Van Renterhem to Groenendyk.

Groenendyk once again questioned Van Renterghem about the decision to send the letter. “We’re not going to discuss what was said in closed session,” Van Renterghem replied.

The Board members held a vote to send a response letter to the Board of Supervisors.

In other business, the E911 Board is looking to set a date for the budget hearing.

Groenendyk asked the board if the E911 Board hadn’t budgeted anything for E911 Dispatchers during the Mahaska County Emergency Management Board meeting. Robinson explained that those individuals are employees of Mahaska County Emergency Management.

Groenendyk referenced the earlier 28E agreement, saying that it was part of that agreement.

Robinson explained that there are currently no employees for E911 and that all individuals are Mahaska County Emergency Management employees.

In other business for Mahaska County Emergency Management, they indicated that they had been saving money to purchase a new E911 console to help spread employees out and add extra capacity in need.

The State of Iowa will cover $42,580 for the console costs, with a total cost not to exceed $65,000.

The measure was passed unanimously.

Posted by on Jan 27 2021. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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