EFFINGHAM — While the efficiency study commissioned last year by the Effingham County Emergency Telephone System (911) Board is reportedly well on its way to being completed, board members are withholding their next payment on the study until some additional questions are answered.
Board member Norbert Soltwedel said during Tuesday's board meeting that the third phase of the elongated study has "a lot of useful information." But Soltwedel added some questions on the financial part of the study have not yet been answered. Consequently, he said, the $5,582 owed to Intertech for this phase should not be paid.
"We should withhold payment until the financial questions are answered," he said.
The board commissioned the study last year in an effort to gauge the efficiency of the emergency telephone system in Effingham County. As part of that study, Intertech is expected to make a recommendation on whether to consolidate the county and city dispatch centers. The dual centers were established when the program went online in the late 1990s, but many believe a single center would be more economically efficient after the initial costs of consolidation are covered.
Soltwedel said his request to withhold payment should not be interpreted as displeasure with the job Intertech is doing.
"I don't see it as a big deal," he said. "It's just the way to do business."
The board did not have to take action on the payment issue because it has not been billed for work on the third phase.
In action taken Tuesday, the board agreed to spend $1,750 to send System Administrator Jodi Moomaw and two telecommunicators to the 911 National Public Education Conference in the Chicago suburb of Naperville this coming July.
Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Twitter @EDNBGrimes