M’boro approves E-911 merger

Published 10:07 am Monday, March 5, 2012

MURFREESBORO — Town officials here have officially put their stamp of approval on the consolidation of E-911 services within the county.

On Tuesday, the Murfreesboro Town Council approved the agreement for the consolidation of E-911 services, which will result in a financial savings for the town.

Last month, the Hertford County Board of Commissioners agreed to the interlocal agreement which establishes a joint emergency communications agency between the county and the towns of Murfreesboro and Ahoskie.

“I think we got what we really wanted, what we were most concerned about,” said Mayor John Hinton about the agreement.

In December, council members reviewed a draft of the agreement and had concerns about Murfreesboro’s four full-time dispatchers and the status of their jobs.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Police Chief Darrell Rowe and Town Administrator Brandon Holland expressed their content with the agreement knowing the dispatchers’ positions were secure.

Rowe noted the previous concerns were cleared up in Section K of the agreement which states the dispatchers will be county employees and all full time telecommunicators of the towns will be retained by the county “with transfer of town seniority, longevity, leave balances or other benefits in accordance with towns personnel polices in place at the time of hire with Hertford County E911 Communications.”

Holland said overall the agreement was solid.

“Bottom line, it doesn’t get any better than this,” said Holland. “In any type of merging, no one gets everything that they want. Here, the county has done a great job in taking in consideration the current employees and the length of service that they put for the government and the citizens of Hertford County.”

Holland said he was sure there would be a cost savings for the town through the merger.

In his memo to council, Holland presented a “worst case scenario” equation with an over estimate of the county’s E911 budget at $600,000.

Holland said the town’s population based contribution will be slightly less than 19 percent (approximately $114,000).

Murfreesboro’s current communication budget stands at $213,515 of which $37,341 is E911 funding received from the state. That state funding would stop following the merger, leaving $176,174 available for the town to contribute, resulting in a $62,174 balance for the town.

Councilwoman Gloria Odum moved to accept the interlocal agreement. Mayor Pro-Tempore Sarah Wallace offered a second and the motion carried without objection.