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New Plan for Joint Comm.

Boone County leaders are working to solve the problems at Joint Communications and the 911 Dispatch Center. On Thursday, the Blue Ribbon Panel provided a recommendation as to what the improvements should include.The first recommendation is to put a general sales tax initiative on the April ballot to pay for the improvements. Also, that Boone County will have control of Joint Communications.”We recommended the sales tax because it provides funds for immediate changes,” Blue Ribbon Panel member Bart Wechsler said, “This is a very serious issue and we want to act as quickly as possible.”The panel also recommended the new 911 center should be a separate facility located behind the Annex at the Boone County Law Enforcement campus. “It needs to be in an EF-5 rated building so it is able to survive severe conditions,” Wechsler said.The panel acknowledged the problem of outdated technology. To fix it they recommended the new center have a reserve fund, paid for with the general sales tax, to keep equipment up to date.The panel did not come up with how much the tax would cost voters. But said that will be determined once the total cost of improvements is calculated. According to Boone County Sheriff Dwayne Carey, an estimated figure is around $22.5 million.

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