Cornersville aldermen learn cost of consolidated dispatch

Friday, May 9, 2014

By Karen Hall

Editor

The cost of participating in the county's proposed consolidated dispatch system could be significant for Cornersville, aldermen learned at the monthly meeting last week.

The advantages are also significant, explained City Administrator Taylor Brandon. With consolidated dispatch there will be no transferring of calls, resulting in a faster response time for all emergency services. The projected staff for the consolidated dispatch center, to be housed at the Lewisburg Police Department, will be one supervisor, 12 dispatchers, and one information technology person. The center would operate 24/7, every day of the year.

"I know it's a lot of money," said Brandon, "But that's what's in the works." He said Cornersville's cost, based on population and the number of calls, would be $25,000 per year.

"They would like to have it done in January," he said. "So we need to budget now for the second half of the 2014-2015 fiscal year. The biggest hurdle will be the cost; we will let you know as it develops."

"Hopefully we can ask for a reduced price," said Mayor Amos Davis. "We hope to negotiate the price, but these were the figures they tossed at us."

"Is this the way they do it in most areas?" asked Alderman Lezlie Calahan.

"Yes," replied Brandon. "Marshall may be one of the last counties that isn't using consolidated dispatch yet."

The meeting turned to other business, and longtime resident John Kiser was invited to address the board.

"Not many of us can remember Cornersville as it was 70 years ago," he said. "It was beautiful, but seven of those houses are gone. We still have about 15 really old houses. It would be a shame to lose them."

Kiser went on to propose a three-step process for preserving Cornersville's heritage.

The first step would be to identify all the houses more than 100 years old. This has already essentially been done in City Recorder Scotty Brock's book on Cornersville history.

The next step would be to involve the young people, such as Beta Club members and Scouts, to research the houses' histories and trace them back to their original owners.

And finally, art students could design and make a plaque to identify each home and its date.

"This would attract attention of people driving through town," Kiser said. "If we make the houses visible and make people aware, we will develop a consciousness of history."

It could also have the benefit of opening a channel of communication between the young people who research the houses, and the elderly people whose memories contain so much precious information about the past.

Moving on to another topic, with the tornados in Lincoln County fresh in everyone's mind, Police Sgt. David McVey said the town did have a warning siren, but needed to test it on a regular basis, and warn residents that what they were hearing was a test.

"We should test the siren on a sunny day," McVey said.

"I agree with you," said Alderman Melisa Peters.

Citizen Rita Calloway Stafford, who just moved back to Cornersville after a long absence, asked if Cornersville had an evacuation plan.

"Yes, we do," answered Brandon. "We have a binder from the Emergency Management office."

"The Methodist Church and the Church of Christ let people use their basements if there is a threat of severe weather, added Alderman Sherry McClintock.

The meeting ended on a good note when Town Attorney Quinn Stewart informed the board her collection efforts had brought in over $4,000 in delinquent taxes.