|Grant to fund new E-911 center|
|Thursday, August 2, 2012|
Sumner County has been awarded a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to build a centralized E-911 dispatch center.
“I can't say too much about it because there are some negotiations we still have to have with HUD,” said County Executive Anthony Holt. “We've cleared the major hurdle, though. We just have to clear some more minor hurdles and iron some things out before we officially get the money.”
“It's not a done deal yet, but this is a big accomplishment,” Holt said. “I first found out about this grant two-and-a-half to three years ago, and I've been working on it since then.”
One of the things Holt is most proud about in being awarded the grant is that it is a 100 percent grant from the federal government.
“How often does that happen?” Holt asked rhetorically. “Almost every grant is an 80-20 split, and if we had to come up with 20 percent of this grant, that's $400,000. These kinds of things don't just fall into your lap.”
The grant would allow the county to build an approximately 10,000 square foot building to house the centralized dispatch center.
“It won't pay for the equipment, but I think we can find a way get that,” Holt said.
Holt said that by centralizing E-911 across the county, response times by emergency responders could be reduced because no time would be lost in the time agencies currently spend sharing information with each other.
Cities would not be forced to join the centralized dispatch.
“I think most would, though,” Holt said. “I know White House has already joined in with Robertson County since some of that city lies in Robertson County and some it in Sumner County. But for the rest of the cities, I think at some point it would just become economically feasible to opt in.”
The dispatch center would be run by the county's E-911 board, according to Holt.
Given that the negotiations with HUD over meeting some of the specifics of the grant are just getting underway, there is no set timetable as to when the facility might open.
By Josh Nelson