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Crown Point first to dial in support for E-911 consolidation

Updated: January 4, 2014 6:37AM

Crown Point — Monday Crown Point became the first city to have both its city council and mayor sign the interlocal agreement for the consolidation of the county’s E-911 services.

City Council members, with the support of Mayor David Uran, unanimously approved the interlocal agreement entering the city into the consolidated dispatch and agreeing to transfer over $336,474 from the city’s property tax levy for E-911 services to the county.

The figure is the amount calculated by Cender Co. LLC that the city currently spends on E-911 services and was certified by Clerk-Treasurer Patti Olson.

Uran said while he and the city council did not support the initial version of the interlocal put forth about a year ago, which required steep financial commitments from participants and no clear guarantee of improved services, the version signed Monday represents significant change and will allow the city to provide better service for residents at no additional cost.

“We didn’t sell ourselves out for less. We came on board for our community because we know the benefit for Crown Point. … We feel very strong if we think we can improve services at no additional cost we should really do it for them,” Uran said.

Crown Point’s approval comes on the heels of announcements last week by Hammond Mayor Thomas M. McDermott Jr. and East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland they plan to sign the interlocal agreement and would urge their city councils to do the same. Uran last week also announced his support for the interlocal. In cities the agreement must be approved by both the mayor and city council. Towns must receive majority council approval.

East Chicago EMA Director Herbert Cruz, chairman of the Lake County Public Safety Communications Commission, said E-911 officials were heading to various town and city councils this week to answer questions and help move the agreement forward.

Brian Hitchcock, E-911 director, and consultant Thomas Dabertin were in Highland Monday. Cruz said the conversation there was positive but no action was taken by the council.

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