Lake County takes step toward funding for consolidated dispatch
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent October 20, 2012 6:50PM
Updated: November 22, 2012 6:47AM
CROWN POINT — An excess levy appeal of a little more than $10.8 million for the Lake County E-911 consolidation has been filed for 2013 to pave the way for funding if partner units sign on as required.
Larry Blanchard, the Board of Commissioners’ assistant, said county officials want to be ready if the participating units can come to consensus on an interlocal agreement and sign it in 2013.
“This is something we want to have in place if things go the way the law is written. If it happens maybe we can get into business a little sooner,” said Blanchard. If the interlocal agreements are signed, the county will be able to begin tapping the levy for its consolidation plans.
Commissioner Roosevelt Allen Jr., D-Gary, questioned whether the state would support the county’s request since it still has not adopted a county income tax.
Blanchard said Friday he does not expect the State Board of Accounts to approve the maximum levy requested by the county but he does expect they will approve something. He said the county only gets $2.3 million in 911 fee funding, which will not be enough to open and operate the combined dispatch center.
“I don’t think there’s going to be a big problem because this involves public safety,” Blanchard said.
If the agreements are not signed, the county will have to go through the process again for the 2014 budget.