Saline County 911 Commission members heard from several people during their meeting Thursday, June 18, including community members with questions or complaints about rural address markers and the addressing scheme within Marshall.
Director Pam Teague gave a report of the complaints she has received in relation to the rural address markers, which included 28 reports of incorrect markers placed near a resident's driveway, six reports of no markers placed by residents' homes, 18 requests that the commission approve markers' relocation and three calls from residents who dislike the way markers look.
Most of the requests to move a marker are due to concerns about mowing around it, said Teague.
A total of 2,700 rural address markers have been placed to date, she said.
She added that she has also received many calls thanking the commission for the markers, as well as "confessions" that the caller had moved the sign placed near his or her driveway.
At least two signs, Teague said, have been removed from the post and placed on buildings or the resident's mailbox, and there is at least one case of someone repeatedly removing a marker and placing it in a ditch.
The board discussed the requests to move markers, and decided that as long as a marker's new location fits the guidelines set by Saline County Ordinance no. 2009-001, there would be no problem with relocating the markers. Teague or Assistant Director Stacie Smith will inspect each marker with an associated relocation request and meet with the resident to ensure that the new location that resident desires for the marker's placement is consistent with the guidelines spelled out in Ordinance no. 2009-001. Then, markers will either be moved by Sign-Up Ltd. or that resident, depending on the decision of the Saline County 911 Administration Office.
Ordinance no. 2009-001 states, in part, that markers must be located between 15 and 30 feet of the driveway, must be visible from both directions and must be obvious in its reference to a driveway.
Commission members reminded those present that Missouri One-Call must be contacted before moving any address markers.
Commission member Cathie Jeffries mentioned one woman who called her, concerned because the placement of the rural address marker had cut her phone line, and she was worried that she might be liable for the cost of fixing it.
One board member wondered aloud if perhaps Missouri One-Call had not been contacted for this address.
The commission heard from an unidentified woman with complaints about the rural address markers, among other things.
"I don't see why people have to have a sign if they don't want one. I mean, people move out of town because they don't want to follow all these regulations, they want some freedom to do what they want, and if they don't want to be found, why are you all making such a big deal out of it?" she asked
"Because the simple goal of addressing each one of these properties is, in times of emergency, that property can be located, we can cut down our response time," said Vice President John Rieves.
The woman offered her opinion that the commission had wasted the more than $40,000 paid to Sign-Up Ltd. for residential markers.
"Is one life worth $40,000?" asked commission member Jesse Coslet.
Rieves gave an update on the progress of the 911 Dispatch Center's construction.
The newly projected date on which the building will be ready for use has been moved from the end of August to Oct. 1.
Instead, the commission will apply for a credit card with the Bank of Slater. The card will have a credit limit of $1,500 and will be used for "incidentals," said Rieves.
The commission voted to place advertisements in local media outlets to accept applications for positions of receptionist and telecommunicators, among others.
The commission discussed the use of Language Line, a service that will allow dispatchers to, if they receive a call from a non-English speaker, bring an interpreter on the line with the push of a button.
There is an annual charge for access to this service as well as a charge per minute of use.
The commission made no decision on this topic, tabling it for further discussion at the next meeting,
Cushing Technologies Inc. will provide the Computer-Aided Dispatch system that will be used in the 911 dispatch center, voted commission members.
According to Marshall Fire Chief John Rieves, the dispatch center will initially also run the CAD system developed by Information Technologies Inc., which is currently in use by the Marshall Police Department, the Sweet Springs Police Department and the Saline County Sheriff's Department.
One reason the commission decided to go with the software from Cushing Technologies, Rieves said, is because the ITI software is not compatible with ProQ&A for dispatch purposes, meaning that when dispatchers receive a call dealing with a medical issue, the ITI software will not allow them to go through the question-and-answer process of working to diagnose the problem before emergency responders arrive.
The Cushing Technologies software is compatible with ProQ&A, said Teague.
"Many other dispatch centers run more than one CAD system in order to assist the agencies they dispatch for more efficiently," she added.
A StarZ Simulator, for use in testing, training and evaluation of dispatch employees and employment applicants, will be purchased, the commission voted.
Besides Teague, Reives, Coslet and Jeffries, commission President John Fletcher, treasurer Jack Lenz Jr. and member Corbin Allred were present.
Cindy Schroeder was absent.