Commissioner's letter urges Gering Council to sign Comm Center agreement

Scotts Bluff County Communications Center

As the Gering City Council once again will be discussing the Inter-local agreement concerning participation in the county's Communications Center, one County Commissioner is urging them to work together for the benefit of everyone in all of the communities involved. Sherry Blaha has written an editorial letter in area newspapers this week urging the Gering Council to sign the agreement.

Blaha is a former Gering Council member herself, and worked for Scotts Bluff County as a longtime Emergency Manager. As Commissioner, she represents District 3, which includes Gering and Terrytown.

The commissioners approved sending a letter asking for some notice of intent by May 1st after negotiations between Gering, Minatare, and the County did not produce an agreement. The county says Gering has not budged from their original position, but Gering Mayor Ed Mayo claims it is the County who is not flexible. Mayo says the city is reviewing options for dispatch service and it would not be prudent right now to say whether the council will respond to Scotts Bluff County's request for a yes or no vote next week on the proposed agreement for the Communications Center.

Blaha tells KNEB News that Gering has spent thousands of dollars in a lawsuit against the county with no end or determination in sight. She says the money that has been spent on attorney fees could have gone toward their obligation to the Inter-local agreement. She says she can't understand why the administration can't just advise them to move on and quit spending money fighting about it. Blaha says the money spent is small in comparison with the amount of money being spent to fight it.

Blaha says on the positive side, eight of the ten communities in the county have joined the Inter-local agreement and have membership on the Communications Center Advisory Board. She says that committee will soon be having their 5th meeting.

Mayo earlier this week said even with an advisory committee comprised of representatives from all the communities involved, the ultimate decision on spending money for new equipment lies with the commissioners. Mayo says that means some of the city's state mandated budget authority would transfer to the county, something he says the city cannot agree to.

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