Thursday, December 1, 2005

City’s vote eases tension with county

Staff Writer

Following a meeting with the Marshall County Board of Supervisors and Mayor Andre’ DeBerry last week to hash out differences over costs of dispatch service to the police department, the board of aldermen moved Tuesday to pay $14,320 in matching funds.

The county had asked the city to pay $75,000 to pay salaries of four dispatchers. The move means the Marshall County E-911 will continue to provide dispatch service to the Holly Springs Police Department and the county will receive $280,000 in radio equipment and a console through a FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) grant through the Holly Springs Fire Department.

The county had agreed to pay the matching share for the grant, but wanted dollars from the city to provide police dispatch. Dollars collected from telephone customers that go to provide 911 service have dropped in recent years and communications equipment is aging, according to Hugh Hollowell, emergency management officer with the county, and fire chief Kenny Holbrook, with the city. The fire department is the lead agency or conduit for fire grants for the city and county’s 10 volunteer fire departments.

The new equipment will be an upgrade and eventually improve communications between critical services throughout the county, Holbrook and Hollowell said. That means that fire departments, law enforcement and emergency medical services will be able to communicate with each other over the entire county by working jointly to obtain and share federal grant dollars for equipment.

The board of aldermen took up other issues before Thanksgiving break. That included a motion to give an exception to build a T-mobile cell tower on private property land north of Holly Springs. Currently the planning commission ordinances allow structures up to 50 feet in height and higher structures by special exception. The tower will be a 280-foot structure without guide wires.

Holly Springs Utility Department (HSUD) asked for the board to approve training for 11 employees to take the commercial driver’s license test. Commercial licenses are required by the state for employees who operate certain types of heavy trucks on streets, according to Tom Boone, director of HSUD. A motion by alderman Naylond Hayes to pay $711 for the driver training passed unanimously.

The board voted for a resolution to participate in the county’s solid waste management plan.

The next regular meeting of the board of aldermen is set for December 6 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.

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