EFFINGHAM — After months of anticipation, the Effingham County Emergency Telephone System (911) Board may finally receive an answer this week to the consolidation question that has dogged the system since it was established in the 1990s.
Intertech representative Lisa Weinthal is scheduled to present her findings to the board at a special meeting set for 9 a.m. Wednesday at Effingham City Hall. Weinthal has been working on the study for nearly a year. The board agreed last April to pay Intertech $72,000 for the study.
Board Chairman Nick Althoff said last week he expects Weinthal to present her opinion on whether the existing two dispatch centers should be consolidated.
“This will give us the answers to what everybody has been asking — do we consolidate or do we stay the same?” Althoff said. “If it is suggested we consolidate, we have to figure out where the money is coming from.”
The system has been operating dispatch centers at both the Effingham County Sheriff’s Department and Effingham Police Department since its founding. Consolidation proponents have said too many services are duplicated with the dual centers, while others say the system runs just fine as it is — and that the consolidation cost, estimated to be at least $1 million, will not be covered by any longterm savings that result from consolidation.