Gering moving toward accepting Interlocal agreement

The city of Gering appears to be grudgingly moving toward accepting Scotts Buff County's proposed Interlocal contract to fund equipment for improvements at the County Communication Center, and thus continuing to receive dispatch services from the county.

Mayor Ed Mayo told the council's Public Safety Committee Monday evening it is "the intention of the city to stay with the county and the services they provide us." City administrator Lane Danielzuk says when the council meets December 9th they will have the choice to approve an agreement that has the county's funding proposal and would specify $115,000 in payments over the next three fiscal years to help pay for updated communication center equipment. The four council members present asked questions but took no action on recommending anything to the full council.

Fire Chief Jay Templar, Police Chief George Holthus and Public works director Pat Heath all pushed for coming to an agreement with the county...Templar saying "it would be a step backward" for the city to dispatch public safety on its own. Holthus added "it is not something we can do better or more effectively."

Mayo continued to criticize the process the county commissioners have used to get the local communities to sign the agreement, maintaining they used public safety and the threat of losing dispatch service as a political football to scare first responders and emergency personnel.

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