Towns need more info on 911 plan

Rockdale and Cameron’s cit y councils met on consecutive nights to address the 911 funding situation and the only thing that’s clear is that nothing is yet clear.

Rockdale’s council met Tuesday and is sending a letter to the Central Texas Council of Governments saying its willing to pay between $11,000 and $55,000 to subsidize the current 911 answering point in Rockdale but only for a three-year period.

CTCOG has said it might need the extra money or answering points could be consolidated into one county wide location.

But the hard dollars-and-cents information enabling the entities involved—Rockdale, Cameron and Milam County—to make a decision still hasn’t been forthcoming.

“We still don’t know exactly what we’re being asked to do, Rockdale City Manager Kelvin Knauf said. “We don’t know what the cost would be for the different options.”

For the record, Rockdale’s council is sending a letter to CTCOG saying it would be willing to consolidate with Cameron “only if there were costefficient means of doing so for all Milam County jurisdictions and if no deterioration of service would result from the consolidation.”

Knauf pointed out that a recent county-wide 911 radio test conducted by CTCOG showed that Rockdale’s signal reached all of Milam County but that Cameron’s did not.

He noted that any 911 funds requested by CTCOG would not be budgeted until fiscal 2012. The city would pay the subsidy only until January, 2015, he said.

Cameron’s council met Monday and, although it took a position against consolidation, Knauf doesn’t think the Cameron council has “vetoed” any proposal.

“I think they’ve done pretty much the same thing we’ve done,” asked for more information,” said Knauf, who attended the Cameron meeting along with other Rockdale council members.”

Bottom line is that both cities want to keep their own 911 answering points.

CTCOG has said it may need the additional funds because the state is keeping 12 cents from each 50-cent 911 fee collected from phone bills in some rural counties, including Milam.

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