Hale County to address E-911 plight

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 19, 2004

A special called meeting of the Hale County Commission will be held Tuesday at 9 a.m. to discuss the situation with E-911. The Demopolis Times incorrectly reported Thursday that the meeting would be with the Greensboro City Council.

County E-911 director Kirk Pearson has declared the agency to be broke and in need of adequate funding from the City of Greensboro for two dispatchers.

E-911 currently has nine dispatchers on their staff.

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The Town of Moundville and the Hale County Sheriff’s Department both have their own dispatchers. The City of Greensboro is considering hiring their own dispatchers, police chief Claude Hamilton said Friday. However, Hamilton, who is a member of the E-911 board, says he is committed to the county system but believes E-911 officials must give more complete information to the Greensboro City Council and the Hale County Commission. There have been problems with the agency long before Pearson took over as director, the police chief said.

Members of the E-911 board had failed to meet with the Greensboro City Council during a recent called meeting, Hamilton said.

The enhanced 911 service has been operating in Hale County since 1999.

In a related matter, Joe Lee Hamilton Jr. and Yolanda Watkins, two members of the Hale County Commission, were named to a committee to look into the renovation of Lion Park. This action came after a public hearing on the park’s future that was held Monday evening.

Jim Junkin of the Alabama Forestry Commission complained to the commission Monday concerning a damaged water meter and broken water pipes near a gravel pit at a fire tower on Nettle Road.

The county says it is not responsible for the damage. If the matter is not taken care of, Junkin threatened to remove an antenna used for county highway, sheriff’s and fire department communications from the Forestry Service tower by Feb. 16.

The commission renewed its annual contract Monday with West Alabama Youth Services to facilitate juvenile offenders in Hale County.

The commission approved the application for a grant to purchase a new vehicle for the Hale County Sheriff’s Department. If the county receives the grant, the 10 percent match would be $1,666.