Richardson County Commissioners vote to join Southeast Communications 911 Center

By Nikki McKim

During the regular meeting of the Richardson County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, Bruce Lang, Police Chief of the City of Beatrice and Carla Zarybnicky, Director of the SE Communications 911 Center returned to address the Board. The pair wrapped up their presentation on the possibility of Richardson County joining the Communications 911 Center and delivered more figures and information for the Commissioners to consider before making their final decision.
Chief Lang told the Board that the County would need to build a tower whether they consolidated or not and the expense would be hefty, about $325,000. Lang said that would be the “not to exceed the estimate,” so it could be less than that figure, but it would probably need to be done going forward.
He said the cost could obviously be shared if Falls City PD joined to benefit everyone.
“Then about $75,000, one-time money for the different parts on radio equipment and power supplies, Co-Ax, that kind of stuff, electricians, all those things, again, that pushes it to about $398,000,” said Lang.
Additional costs moving forward would be dependent on optional things such as computer systems in vehicles and other services.
The Communications Center’s contract is asking for a minimum of three years, for five, but a minimum of three. “The reason for that is that it takes a lot of things to get an agency on, and you hire people, and so you want at least a commitment for that long,” said Lang. The annual cost would be $180,000.
“Now if in fact, the city joined, at the same time, we’re someplace close to that the combined cost would not be doubled that, it would be less so your costs would go down with that if we were able to do some agreement on that. That’s totally up to everybody,” said Lang.
After a lengthy discussion where Mike Ramsey of the Falls City Rural Fire Dept.; Falls City Councilman, Mitch Merz and Gary Jorn, Falls City Administrator, addressed the Board with some concerns and questions, the motion was made by Karas that Richardson proceed to go with Southeast Communications 911 Center, Beatrice. A motion was seconded by Caverzagie and carried.
The Falls City Journal will have a more in-depth story and coverage on this story in the June 23, 2021 issue.

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