The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 19, 2013

Jasper County Commission approves dispatching pact

By Susan Redden
news@joplinglobe.com

CARTHAGE, Mo. — A contract allowing the Jasper County Emergency Services Board to provide dispatching for the county sheriff’s office became official on Tuesday.

County commissioners approved the pact, and Sheriff Randee Kaiser said after the commission meeting that plans are “going well” for the changeover scheduled April 1.

“Something still could come up in the interim, but we and they are getting the systems set up,” he said.

The commissioners were prepared to sign the pact a week ago, but they tabled it after discovering that the document they had before them lacked a revision that had been made and OK’d by both sides.

In a departure from past practice, the county 911 board will provide emergency and nonemergency dispatching for the sheriff’s office at no charge. Before the sheriff’s office resumed its own dispatching several years ago, the county agency had charged the sheriff’s office $110,000 per year.

Members of the 911 board said the county should receive the service at no additional charge, because county taxpayers are paying sales tax for the operation.

Kaiser said sheriff’s officials are working on policies that will govern the dispatching of deputies, and that technicians have completed installing in-car computers for communication between deputies and 911 dispatchers.

“The (communications) tower is still there, and we’re getting the phone system set up,” he said.

In other business, the commissioners accepted a bid from B&D Yardbuilders for demolishing two vacant homes on property south of the county jail that recently was purchased by the county. Commission members delayed approving the $11,315 contract after Norman Rouse, attorney for the panel, said he wanted to make sure it included a provision addressing state requirements for any asbestos removal that is needed.

The commissioners also approved the appointment of a board to recommend expenditures from a law enforcement restitution fund established by the county several years ago. The panel has two members appointed by the commission, two by the sheriff and one by the county coroner. Commissioners approved the reappointment of Brian Christmas and Leslie Jones, along with Delmar Haase, recommended by Coroner Rob Chappel, and Don Richardson and Jason Spangler, nominated by the sheriff.

The board oversees the allocation of money from a fee assessed against people who are convicted and must pay restitution. The fund, which contains more than $55,000, is to go to law enforcement purposes in the sheriff’s and prosecutor’s offices. Past purchases have included metal detectors and other equipment for courthouse security, Rouse said.



Surplus

THE COUNTY COMMISSION, at the request of Richard Webster, county auditor, on Tuesday declared as surplus some outdated equipment that had been stored in his vault. Left off the surplus list was a computer used in the county public administrator’s office that became part of the investigation resulting in federal charges against Rita Hunter, former administrator. Hunter has pleaded guilty, but a date for sentencing has not been set, a federal court spokesman said Tuesday.