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Tax for new 911 dispatch center to appear on April ballot

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COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN Tax for new 911 dispatch center to appear on April ballot By Bailey Otto January 22, 2013 | 9:56 p.m. CST COLUMBIA — A three-eighths of a cent sales tax proposal will be added to the April 2 ballot to raise funds for emergency management services and the construction of a larger, up-to-date joint communications and dispatch facility, after a unanimous vote of the Boone County Commission Tuesday morning. The sales tax would generate roughly $9.3 million per year, according to Boone County Auditor June Pitchford. MoreStory Related Media

The commission decided on the tax proposal after reviewing a 136-page report from the 911 Emergency Management Advisory Board, a team of nine members who have evaluated how the current system meets the needs of Boone County residents. According to a press release from the Boone County Commission, the board concluded the current facilities were not suitable for technology-related changes, the growing number of residents, increased workloads for employees and a proliferation of calls due to the use of cell phones.

Here is a PDF of the final report of the 911/Emergency Management Advisory Board, which was accepted by the Boone County Commission on Tuesday morning.

Related Articles Boone County voters approve 911 sales tax Voters offer thoughts on Tuesday's municipal election What you need to know before you

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“The report was very comprehensive and well-done, evidencing a sincere effort on the part of the board members to understand the problem that exists,” Boone County Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill said. “A serious effort needs to be made to correct those problems as soon as possible.” The projected facility would be built to withstand serious storms and operate in the event of a local disaster, outfitted

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Tax for new 911 dispatch center to appear on April ballot

go the polls on Tuesday Prop 1 seeks sales tax for 911, emergency centers Candidates discuss 911 tax, policing at final public forum Boone County, 911 officials prepared to launch new facility plans Chamber of Commerce endorses sales tax for 911, emergency management services Columbia groups, residents oppose 911 sales tax Boone County Fire Protection District Board: Proposition 1 would make 911 service quicker, safer Crowding, understaffing challenge 911 and emergency management centers

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with updated technology and have a policy regarding upgrades, according to the release. Atwill pulled out pictures of the current joint communications facility to illustrate the issues with lack of space and outdated technology. Images show exposed wires and sensitive radio equipment in a cramped room next to an emergency generator and two large batteries, which have nearly damaged equipment before. Inadequte storage space results in a hallway line with piles of boxes full of documents and a copy machine. Atwill said he is hopeful citizens will pass the tax for the benefit of people in Boone County. He said the commission will seek state and federal support in addition to the sales tax, but it can't be counted on to bring in the funding for the necessary changes.

“It seems like it ought to be a phone call to get help, but it’s so much more than that,” Atwill said. "It involves personnel manning the phones 24 hours a day, with three employees working eight-hour shifts," he said.

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Columbia, Boone County seek sales tax for 911, emergency ma...

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COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN Columbia, Boone County seek sales tax for 911, emergency management By Bailey Otto February 18, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CST COLUMBIA — Sheriff Dwayne Carey is so passionate about getting Boone County voters to approve a three-eighths-cent sales tax for the 911 and emergency management systems he plans to campaign for the ballot measure as if it were a bid for re-election. There are fewer than six weeks remaining until the April 2 election, and March is going to be a big month, Carey said. He plans to go door to door, post yard signs and get the word out to residents any way he can about the impact the tax would have. MoreStory

Related Articles Boone County voters approve 911 sales tax Voters offer thoughts on Tuesday's municipal election What you need to know before you go the polls on Tuesday Prop 1 seeks sales tax for 911, emergency centers Candidates discuss 911 tax, policing at final public forum Boone County, 911 officials prepared to launch new facility plans

Here are some important facts about the tax proposal and the 911 and emergency management operations: What is the proposal?

Chamber of Commerce endorses sales tax for 911, emergency management services

Proposition 1 asks voters to approve a three-eighths-cent countywide sales tax to pay for a new joint communications and dispatch center and emergency management services.

Columbia groups, residents oppose 911 sales tax

Who will vote on it?

Boone County Fire Protection District Board: Proposition 1 would make 911 service quicker, safer

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“It is the integral part of the public safety wheel,” Carey said of the joint communications and emergency management operations. “If it doesn’t start there, then you’re not going to have a firetruck come to your burning house, you’re not going to have an ambulance come to your medical emergency, you’re not going to have a cop show up for your domestic disturbance, because if we’re not getting the information, then we’re not responding.”

All registered Boone County voters are eligible to cast

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Columbia, Boone County seek sales tax for 911, emergency ma...

Crowding, understaffing challenge 911 and emergency management centers

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ballots. How much money would it generate, and how would it be spent?

It is estimated the tax will generate more than $9 million a year to overhaul the county's 911 and emergency management operations. This includes construction of a new facility, more personnel, updated equipment and continued upgrades and maintenance. How are joint communications and emergency management funded now? As it stands, the city operates the service, and five of the 13 agencies that use it chip in to cover the cost. User agencies include the Columbia Police and Fire departments, the Boone County Sheriff's Department, hospital ambulance services and county fire districts. The city pays about $1.7 million, and the county pays between $600,000 and $700,000 annually to fund the operations. This accounts for about 90 percent of their budgets. The formula fluctuates depending on the number of calls each user agency receives in one year. How did we get here? The tax proposal is the result of months of talks among representatives of the city, the county and the agencies that rely on the system for their dispatching needs. The 911 and emergency management system in place now was established in 1977, when the county's population was half the 165,000 it is today and when there were far fewer 911 calls, particularly from cellphones. City Manager Mike Matthes believes it's appropriate that joint communications and emergency management be moved from the city to the county's jurisdiction and funded through a countywide tax because it is a countywide service. That's a better model, he said, than having five specific users pay for the operations. The Boone County Commission appointed a blue ribbon advisory committee that submitted a comprehensive report advising a general sales tax proposal to raise money. The commissioners — Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill, Southern District Commissioner Karen Miller and Northern District Commissioner Janet Thompson — voted unanimously to place the tax on the April ballot.

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Columbia, Boone County seek sales tax for 911, emergency ma...

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This sales tax will be 0.375 of a cent on every dollar spent. Atwill noted that anyone who spends money in Boone County would pay the tax. Carey said the entire joint communications and emergency management operation will be funded through the sales tax and the agencies funding it now would cease contributing. Carey said the city plans to redirect a portion of the money it has paid into the systems to hire firefighters and police officers. Atwill said the county would use a portion of its annual contribution to pay for the administrative costs of joint communications and emergency management offices and personnel. What are the needs? Since May, Carey has spent several months and long hours looking at every aspect of joint communications and emergency management. The sheriff spent time in the operations room, talked to staff and listened to call recordings. Carey said there's a significant need for more dispatchers taking 911 calls. As many as 20 new employees would be necessary to adequately staff three shifts handling calls 24/7. Problems stem from the rising number of 911 calls from cellphones. About 75 percent of calls to 911 are from cellphones. A highway accident that a few decades ago would have generated only a few calls might result in a few hundred today, Matthes said. He fears a situation where the phone lines are slammed for one accident and someone in trouble won’t be able to get through. The average time someone waits after dialing 911 before reaching a dispatcher is 36 seconds, Matthes said. There's also a need to relocate both the emergency operation center, which is in the Armory Sports Center, and the 911 operation, which is housed in the Columbia Police Department headquarters. Children who attend a day care at the recreation center would have to be moved to another location if a disaster were to occur so that emergency personnel could do their work, Carey said. Equipment and computer software also need significant upgrades, according to the report from the blue-ribbon advisory panel. Who would administer a new 911 and emergency management system, and how? Joint communications and emergency management would become a new department under 3 of 6

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Columbia, Boone County seek sales tax for 911, emergency ma...

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Boone County government. The Boone County Commission would hire a director and appoint a volunteer advisory board that would include fire, police and emergency service representatives, along with members of the public. Matthes said he doesn't anticipate that the operations would suffer with a transition to the new department. “Really, you have to take it on trust,” he said. “We’re not going to drop the baton as we hand it off.” Will other taxes be rescinded if this one passes? The Southern Boone County Fire Protection District pays its portion of funding for emergency services with a property tax for communications that brings in about $32,000 annually. Jim Saylor, a board member with the fire district, said he hopes it can repeal that tax if the new 911 sales tax is approved. He doesn’t want southern Boone residents to be double-taxed. The question, he said, is whether more money will be needed later. “If somewhere down the line they’re going to ask for more money, that communication tax is our only means of doing that because we run on a very small budget in our area,” Saylor said. The Boone County Fire Protection District also covers its portion of the 911 and emergency management budgets with a separate property tax. Fire Chief Scott Olsen said that the odds are favorable that the dispatch tax would be repealed, but that will depend on the governing structure of the new department. He said the dispatch tax generates $150,000 per year; $125,000 of that goes to joint communications. Most of Boone County government's contribution to joint communications, which can go up to about $700,000 a year, comes from the county's general revenue budget. About $190,000 a year is generated by a dedicated tax on land line phones. Atwill said the tax would eventually phase out if the sales tax were approved. What other options were considered? Another option presented during the agencies' discussions was called the 190 option, a reference to a chapter of the Missouri revised statutes that governs emergency services. This option would have created a separate political subdivision to fund joint communications — as

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opposed to moving the services under the county. An elected board would have been responsible for overseeing operations, creating a budget and hiring a director. Residents would have had to vote on a sales tax for funding. This option wouldn't have raised money for emergency management. Atwill said the county has many services already in place, such as a legal department, a purchasing department, a facilities maintenance department, a finance department, and payroll and insurance personnel. Implementing the 190 plan would take longer because these services would have to be set up. Also, a new political subdivision would have no borrowing history. Carey said it would be unable to borrow money to start improvements until it had established a history of sales tax revenue. “If we’re campaigning this and saying, ‘It’s an immediate need; we’ve got to get it addressed right now,’ under 190, we’d have to say, ‘Oh, but it’s going to take a year for us to do that,” Carey said. Olsen said the 190 approach was appealing because it would have created a separate, elected board. If officials had decided to go that route, he said, the Boone County Fire Protection District would have called for a separate sales tax to fund emergency management. The Southern Boone County Fire Department supported the 190 plan because it would have created its own political entity and focused on joint communications. “We liked that option,” Saylor said. “No favoritism played to any one service that way, and it wouldn’t be controlled by anyone else.” Saylor said that although the 190 option was nixed, the department is pleased the 911 issues are being addressed. “Under the county, it sounds very promising that we’ll have a good system and that it will work down there for us,” he said. “We’re very hopeful with that." Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

Public Service Joint Communications 2012-13 budget This 2012-13 budget for the Public Service Joint Communications agencies shows the amounts of money for operations and projects paid by each agency for joint communications and

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emergency management.

To print the document, click the "Original Document" link to open the original PDF. At this time it is not possible to print the document with annotations.

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Crowding, understaffing challenge 911 and emergency manage...

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COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN Crowding, understaffing challenge 911 and emergency management centers By Bailey Otto March 11, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

Suzanne Fred, supervisor in the Public Safety Joint Communication Center, works Feb. 23 at her station after a snowstorm. | Hany Hawasly

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The office of Joe Piper, the interim operations manager of the Public Safety Joint Communications Center, is used for training and as a conference room. Because the heating and cooling room is attached to this office, people constantly go in and out to fix problems. | Hany Hawasly

The second server room in the Public Safety Joint Communications Center does not have enough room for maintenance or appropriate wiring. To access the room, people have to go through the Police Department offices. | Hany Hawasly

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Crowding, understaffing and failing equipment have long been problems at the Joint Communications Center. Officials hope to overhaul the system using proceeds of a three-eighths-cent sales tax that appears on the April 2 ballot. If voters approve the tax, it would generate an estimated $9.3 million per year. ¦ Hany Hawasly

*An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect date. COLUMBIA — The calls came in at an average of 160 per hour. During the busiest time of the day, they topped out at 277 in a single hour. MoreStory

Related Articles Boone County voters approve 911 sales tax Voters offer thoughts on Tuesday's municipal election What you need to know before you go the polls on Tuesday Prop 1 seeks sales tax for 911, emergency centers Candidates discuss 911 tax, policing at final public forum Boone County, 911 officials prepared to launch new facility plans Chamber of Commerce endorses sales tax for 911, emergency management services Columbia groups, residents oppose 911 sales tax Boone County Fire Protection District Board: Proposition 1 would make 911 service quicker, safer Boone County Fire Protection District board votes to support 911 tax initiative

It was Feb. 21, the day the first of two major snowstorms blanketed Columbia.* Beth Taylor came to work at the Public Safety Joint Communications Center at 7 a.m. and was still answering back-to-back calls at 5 p.m. “And can you tell me your name?” Taylor asked one of her callers. “Alice, like 'Alice in Wonderland,' and I would just like to not be a danger to society.” Alice had just surrendered her car to the snow’s grip in the middle of a Columbia intersection. She was more concerned about other drivers getting stuck trying to get around her car than she was about getting it back right away. So she wanted to alert the authorities to the situation. Taylor answered hundreds of similar calls that day about vehicles stuck in ditches, in intersections and in the middle of streets. As she fielded the calls, she navigated five computer screens; monitored the radio channels of police, firefighters, emergency medical services and road crews in the field; and used software programs to fill out reports.

Employees of the center worked 12-hour shifts and logged a lot of overtime so that all eight of the center's dispatch stations could be active during the storm. Workers with headsets answered nonstop calls, pecked at keyboards and fed information to one another while responding to emergency responders in the field.

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The stations are crammed together in the center's operations room. Layers of printers, fax machines, records and computer equipment line the walls. Makeshift desks and cubbyholes hold stacks of books and binders. Work-station desks designed to go up and down to accommodate sitting or standing are falling apart after years of constant wear and tear. Radio console equipment is obsolete, and some radio consoles are broken, forcing technicians to search eBay in an attempt to find parts. Crowding, understaffing and failing equipment have long been problems at the Joint Communications Center. Officials hope to overhaul the system using proceeds of a threeeighths-cent sales tax that appears on the April 2 ballot. If voters approve the tax, it would generate an estimated $9.3 million per year. A new building that would house both the 911 center and emergency management operations would cost an estimated $8.9 million alone, according to a report from a 911/Emergency Management Advisory Board that was appointed to study the operations' needs. Altogether, an overhaul of the systems — which also would include additional staff, new radio systems and other technological improvements — would cost about $22.5 million, the report says. Space at a premium With the swipe of a key, Joe Piper opens the door to the Joint Communications Center to reveal a stack of cots resting against the wall a few feet from the entrance. Clutter lines the walls all the way to the end of the hallway. There are boxes of training materials, police and emergency management records, pay sheets, fliers, printing paper and recycling. Piper, interim operations manager for the center, said there's no way around the clutter; Joint Communications simply doesn't have enough room. During situations like the snowstorm, staff members have no designated place to sleep when they need to stay the night, so they set up the cots wherever they can. Sometimes people end up sleeping on the floor. Overnight bags and piles of clothes lie on the floor of the small locker room, alongside a mop and other custodial supplies. Piper shakes his head. A desktop computer for online training programs takes up one wall of the small break-room. Staff are required to continue dispatch education after they finish initial training to maintain their certifications, but there isn’t enough space to set up a workstation solely for that purpose.

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“We’ll stick a computer here, stick a computer there,” Piper said. “A person’s out here trying to complete required training, and you’ve got people out here trying to take a break. It’s just not really conducive to good training.” Bulky file cabinets full of records dominate another wall in a hodge-podge office. Supplies are stuffed around the edges of the room. An icebox sits on top of a shelf near the cabinets. “I’m a neat freak, and this just drives me nuts,” Piper said as he struggled to step around boxes, a paper-shredder and a desk. Supervisors, administrators and a public information officer have to share this office space, and Piper said they fight for it. There is no specified space for collective training, so the crew uses whatever room it can find. Sometimes it’s the shared office; sometimes it’s Piper’s. His office acts as a conference room, too. It’s small, crowded by his desk and a round table with a few chairs. The room wasn’t designed as an office, Piper said, gesturing toward a door in the corner. It leads to the building's heating and cooling system, which often acts up and requires regular tinkering that disrupts trainings and meetings. Joint Communications has two electronic server rooms because there isn’t a room large enough to accommodate all the equipment. One server room is connected to the operations room, but the other is in the adjacent police station, a remote location forces a lot of back-and-forth trekking when repairs are necessary. The server rooms should have nothing but radio and computer equipment, Piper said. Instead, staff have to maneuver around supplies and even around lightning groundings along the walls. That makes Piper nervous. “Yeah, it works, but is this ideal?” he asked. “You want to be standing right here when lightning hits the whole antenna outside?” The 911 center’s restroom also is in the Police Department. “You’d like an arrangement where dispatchers can get up from their chair and they can go conveniently to the restroom and still be right there close by,” Piper said. It’s an even farther walk to the Armory Sports and Recreation Center, where several 911 employees have desks in the basement because of the lack of space in the main center. The Armory also is where city and county officials and emergency personnel are supposed to meet and coordinate efforts during a disaster. The space doubles as a day care center that would be 5 of 12

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displaced by desks, computers and radio equipment if a catastrophe were to happen. Converting the space could take several hours. Piper said the Armory isn’t ideal for an emergency management site, in part because its historical significance prohibits design changes. As it stands, though, there are no better options, he said. Piper said the needs that would be addressed with the proposed sales tax are obvious. “I think anybody taking the time to visit the center and understand its critical functions that would come and look and take the time to understand it would say, ‘Yeah, there’s a need here,’” Piper said. Workload challenges small staff The refrigerator in the cramped break room resembles a Jenga game of tote bags, plastic containers and thermoses containing staff lunches. Employees often are told that they can't leave to get lunch, so they bring food to work with them instead. During the snowstorm, supervisor Suzanne Fred sat in front of seven monitors and ate her chicken pot pie between calls. Piper said Joint Communications is sorely understaffed. It employs a full-time equivalent of 34.75 people, including administration, support and operations staff. Twenty-nine employees staff the center 24/7. Four are supervisors, and 25 work as call-takers or dispatchers. On a normal day, the minimum staff consists of one supervisor, one call-taker and three dispatchers. Staff are supposed to work eight-hour shifts, but most put in significant overtime every week. Annual turnover is around 18 percent. The job can quickly cause burnout. There are always trainees. Right now, four people are in training, and one position is vacant. About two of every five trainees don’t make it. Piper described the challenges new workers face. In the operations room, employees are responsible for fourteen 911 lines, 27 non-emergency lines and multiple radio channels. They operate five different computer systems with several software applications and answer 911 calls at the same time. They're expected to do all of this with good customer service. Piper said it takes about six months for a trainee to become competent in the operations room and about another six months before a worker feels comfortable. The lack of staff often forces

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call-takers to double as dispatchers, which means they have to juggle the responsibility of fielding residents’ 911 calls with that of dispatching calls and responding to radio traffic among police, firefighters and medical teams. Even supervisors have to pitch in and answer phones when the call-takers are overwhelmed. That means they have to be paid overtime to do the administrative work they were hired to do. It’s a difficult situation, Piper said. Taylor, the call-taker, agreed. “The hardest thing?” Taylor said on the day of the snowstorm. “It’s days like this with a lot of people to handle, calls to take, and you can’t take care of it immediately, and they’re out there waiting.” Supervisor Jodi Kamp has worked at Joint Communications for 12 years and said it is seriously understaffed. There’s no way to keep pace with the rising number of calls and emergency responders, she said. “I love the aspects of the job, being there for people that need us,” Kamp said. “But it’s frustrating when you feel like you can’t give the caller 110 percent.” What changes would be made? If voters approve the 911 tax, officials would begin planning for a new 911 and emergency management center on county-owned property near the Boone County Jail northeast of the city. Piper said that in talking with administrators of other 911 operations with relatively new buildings, most said they wish they would have planned more space for storage and expansion. That's why the tax proposal includes enough money for a building that would accommodate the city and county's needs well into the future. Although it's too early to establish a timetable, city and county officials hope to have the new building in place and to begin hiring additional staff as soon as possible. It would be at least six months after the April election before any tax money would begin to flow in. Preliminary plans for the new center and staff include: A “quiet room” in which workers could take breaks or sleep when necessary. Four more call-takers per shift. A specific area for the Emergency Operations Center, fully equipped to respond

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immediately to a disaster. A designated space for technical staff to work on maintenance, repairs and technological upgrades. A new emergency power generator (The one in use now one is from 1983.) One centralized server room with adequate space to work. 16 work stations to accommodate additional staff and to allow room for future expansion. Piper said a community of this size deserves and needs a stronger 911 and emergency management operation. “This is Columbia, this is Boone County,” he said. “We are a Class 1 county. Our community deserves better than what we currently have.” When 911 calls pile up at the offices of Columbia/Boone County Public Safety Joint Communications, call-takers and dispatchers can’t communicate quickly enough with callers.

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To comply with National Fire Protection Association standards, 911 dispatchers must answer at least 95 percent of calls in 15 seconds or less and 99 percent of calls in 40 seconds or less.

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For the past seven months, Columbia/Boone County’s Public Safety Joint Communications

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Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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Columbia groups, residents oppose 911 sales tax

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COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN Columbia groups, residents oppose 911 sales tax By Bailey Otto March 18, 2013 | 8:54 p.m. CDT COLUMBIA — Karin Davis uses a wheelchair and lives in public housing, subsisting off little more than $1,000 a month. She has fibromyalgia with accompanying balance problems, congestive heart failure, osteoporosis, arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and a bulging disk in her back. MoreStory

Related Articles Boone County voters approve 911 sales tax Voters offer thoughts on Tuesday's municipal election What you need to know before you go the polls on Tuesday Prop 1 seeks sales tax for 911, emergency centers Candidates discuss 911 tax, policing at final public forum Boone County, 911 officials prepared to launch new facility plans Chamber of Commerce endorses sales tax for 911, emergency management services Boone County Fire Protection District Board: Proposition 1 would make 911 service quicker, safer Crowding, understaffing challenge 911 and emergency management centers Boone County Fire Protection District

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Davis is a registered voter and plans to darken in the "no" bubble on the ballot for Proposition 1 on April 2. Grass Roots Organizing said Davis is just one example of a resident who would be hit hard by the proposed sales tax for 911 and emergency management services. Grass Roots Organizing and Keep Columbia Free are two Columbia organizations that oppose the three-eighths-cent sales tax, which would generate about $9.3 million a year. The money would be used to build a new 911 and emergency management center, add personnel, update technology and cover the annual cost of operation. A $20 million bond issue would bring money flowing in immediately after the election if the proposition passes. The $9.3 million would be split up: $2.2 million would go toward retiring bond debt each year, and about $6.4 million would pay for the annual costs of 911 operations. Currently, $2.7 million from user agencies such as the city, the county and fire districts, is funding 911 operations. “(The sales tax) impacts people who are elderly on fixed income. It impacts people who are disabled on fixed income.

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Columbia groups, residents oppose 911 sales tax

board votes to support 911 tax initiative

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It impacts people who are making minimum wage and having to raise a family,” Davis said. “It impacts those people more than it does people with greater incomes.”

Prices rise with inflation and increase sales tax, but Davis’ income doesn’t always increase year to year. Until this year, she had gone three years without a change to her income. She said she feels the 911 sales tax would wipe out the small increase she's gained. “Isn’t there any other way to fund this?” Davis asked. “Yes, people need 911. But it should have a different, more equitable way of being paid for.” Grass Roots Organizing advocates for Columbia residents such as Davis. The group is against Proposition 1, arguing that sales taxes are regressive. "We're saying no," organizer Mary Hussmann said. Times are hard enough for the lowerincome class and even for the middle class right now. Hussmann pointed to a study by the Institute on Taxation and Economics Policy that documents the effects of sales tax on different income groups. It was released in January. She said Grass Roots Organizing realizes that the 911 service needs to operate at a certain standard, but she said that many people are in economic crisis right now. Minimum wage is $7.35 per hour, and Hussmann said that's not a livable income. “In these uncertain times, to take $9 million out of folks that already have pockets that are too empty is, to us, unfair and just not right,” Hussmann said. She warned that the tax would add to the burden of those already struggling. Local, state and national factors already make it hard for people to pay bills and feed and clothe their children, she said. “We have to look at what we can pay for and what we can afford,” Hussmann said. “Whether we could afford every bell and whistle that anyone could think of is really something people of the community should take into consideration.” Hussmann questioned why the $2.7 million budgeted now for 911 services would be redirected to other uses — without input from voters — instead of continuing to fund 911 service and to help pay for improvements. Grass Roots Organizing representatives have reached out to Columbia residents by phone,

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Columbia groups, residents oppose 911 sales tax

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through door-to-door visits and with fliers to inform voters about their opinion of the proposition. Grass Roots Organizing registers voters and provides rides to polls for anyone that needs the service, regardless of how they plan to vote. “We’re trying to make sure their voices get heard,” Hussmann said. “Win, lose or draw, we have positions on things, and we’re going to stick to them.” Another group, Keep Columbia Free, also has come out against the proposed sales tax. In a Friday news release, the group said it has concerns about a new annual budget of about $8.7 million, more than triple that of the current $2.7 million budget, and a scarcity of concrete details on how the sales tax money and the proceeds of a $20 million bond issue would be spent. Asked at a Keep Columbia Safe forum last week why a sunset wasn't included in the tax proposal, Boone County Sheriff Dwayne Carey said that 10 years from now, the 911 center will use technology that hasn't been created yet. Proceeds from the tax have to account for those unknown costs, he said. Carey also said that if Missourians eventually approve a cellphone tax to pay for 911 services statewide, the three-eighths-cent tax here could be rescinded. Missouri is the only state that lacks such a statewide tax. The Keep Columbia Free release said residents already pay more than enough for other government projects. The release said city and county officials have wasted taxpayer money on “more glamorous and less-needed budgetary objectives aimed at making headlines rather than providing safety.” Mark Flakne, president of Keep Columbia Free, cited a few city projects as examples: the Blind Boone Home, the parking garage at Fifth and Walnut streets, the FastCat buses downtown, bike lanes at Forum and Stadium boulevards and a proposed new airport terminal. “What this really looks like is a gambling addict who goes to a blackjack table and loses all his money and then comes over and asks for a loan,” Flakne said. “Do you enable that person? No.” Keep Columbia Free concedes the 911 system has serious needs but doesn’t back the tax as a viable option. “We’re not against a 911 service,” Flakne said. “We’re against government waste.” Steve Spellman is a Columbia resident who also is concerned about government accountability. He called the sales tax a bailout for the city and county officials.

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Spellman also co-chairs the Government Affairs Committee with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. He became part of the public discussion after touring the Joint Communications and Emergency Management facilities. He said he doesn’t understand why money from user agencies funding 911 operations isn’t going toward fixing the problems. He questioned why city and county officials couldn’t go to the user agencies and figure out how to increase money from the tax bases already funding operations. Spellman is scheduled to speak about the proposal during a meeting of the Boone County Pachyderm Club about the 911 tax on at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Rock Bridge Hy-Vee Club Room located at 405 E Nifong Blvd. Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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Boone County, 911 officials prepared to launch new facility plans

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COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN Boone County, 911 officials prepared to launch new facility plans By Bailey Otto March 25, 2013 | 5:58 p.m. CDT COLUMBIA — If voters approve Proposition 1, a proposed three-eighths-cent sales tax for 911 and emergency operations on the April 2 ballot, Boone County and 911 officials say they are prepared to start making changes the very next day. Sheriff Dwayne Carey said staffing needs would be addressed by adding a few call-takers the day following the election, but he guesses it would take at least two years before Public Safety Joint Communications and the Office of Emergency Management are up and running in a new building. The commission would almost immediately seek bids from companies interested in designing the building. MoreStory Related Media

This is where the new 911 facility might be located in Columbia and its possible layout if voters approve Proposition 1, a proposed threeeighths-cent sales tax for 911 and emergency operations, that will be on the April 2 election ballot.

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Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill said there's a chance that a company that specializes in designing 911 and emergency management centers may already have plans close to what officials are seeking. He said that would speed up the process but that the commission is obligated to choose the best bid in terms of quality and best price. Local architect Simon Associates Inc. drew up rough designs for the facility, with an overall estimated cost of $11.3 million. The building would be constructed on Boone County's law enforcement campus on Roger I. Wilson Memorial Drive. It would be an earth-contact structure built into the slope of a hill. Critical areas of the building, such as the the server and operations rooms, would be below ground, while office space would be exposed with windows to provide a nice working environment, architect John Simon said.

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Boone County, 911 officials prepared to launch new facility plans

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/160095/boone-county-9...

“Our approach is to kind of bury the structure, because we feel there’s some inherent safety by putting it underground rather than above ground, and we think we can save some money by approaching it that way, too,” Simon said.

Here is a PDF showing a breakdown of how officials from Public Safety Joint Communications and the Office of Emergency Management estimate they would spend proceeds of the three-eighths-cent sales tax that appears as Proposition #1 on the April 2 ballot.

Plans call for a building able to withstand an EF5 tornado. Carey said that in the event of a major disaster, the 911 center needs to be strong enough to be the last building standing. “We’re still going to have a nice-looking administrative building that ties into the colors of the jail and the annex,” Carey said. “But the actual operations part of that we would need to keep up and going in an event will all be below ground.” A radio tower and support buildings also are included in the plans.

Here is a PDF of a draft space needs assessment completed by Brinkley Sargent Architects in May 2012 for Public Safety Joint Communications and the Columbia Police Department.

Here is a PDF of a site plan for the proposed Public Safety Joint Communications and Emergency Management Center building. It was created by the Columbia architectural

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Simon Associates created the schematic using a 2012 study that Brinkley Sargent Architects did for the city of Columbia. It assessed the space needs not only of Public Safety Joint Communications and the Office of Emergency Management but also of the Columbia Police Department. The study recommended a new Public Safety Joint Communications and emergency management building. It also offered sketches of the interior components of a new facility: space for consoles, a locker room, a quiet room, a break room complete with appliances and plans for an Emergency Operations Center. The study estimated the entire project would cost $16 million. It included rough estimates of future space needs, too. Simon said the study was used as a guideline to draft the interior configurations for the new building. He said the structures of similar facilities, such as those in Greene and Saline counties in Missouri and Johnson County in Kansas,

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Boone County, 911 officials prepared to launch new facility plans

firm Simon Associates.

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/160095/boone-county-9...

were models that helped the firm arrive at cost estimates. Carey, 911 operations manager Joe Piper and his staff, and Simon and his architects met over several weeks to rearrange the plan to be as efficient as possible. “We just kind of played with the puzzle until Joe and his staff said, ‘Yeah, this would really work well for 911 and emergency management,’” Carey said.

Here is a PDF of a draft floor plan developed by Columbia architectural firm Simon Associates for the proposed Public Safety Joint Communications and emergency management building.

Related Articles Boone County voters approve 911 sales tax Voters offer thoughts on Tuesday's municipal election What you need to know before you go the polls on Tuesday Prop 1 seeks sales tax for 911, emergency centers Candidates discuss 911 tax, policing at final public forum Chamber of Commerce endorses sales tax for 911, emergency management services Columbia groups, residents oppose 911 sales tax Boone County Fire Protection District Board: Proposition 1 would make 911 service quicker, safer Crowding, understaffing challenge 911 and emergency management centers Boone County Fire Protection District board votes to support 911 tax initiative

Simon said the group tried to plan for growth by designing a building that would be large enough to accommodate 911 services for several years. His company got involved late last summer when Carey asked for help on the project. They did the work as a favor. “It’s not good to say ‘no’ to the sheriff,” Simon said. “It’s kind of an interesting project, and we’re just trying to assist them in something that’s urgently needed in this area.” The new building would be between the Boone County Jail and Sheriff's Department headquarters and an annex on the county property northeast of Columbia. It would be about 20,000 square feet. The operations room would be one-story underground, with the server room directly below it. The dispatch center would share the building with the Emergency Operations Center, but the two would be separate. Carey said it would be an efficient setup because the emergency operations room would be ready to go with push-the-button power when a disaster hits. The operations room would be large enough to double the amount of dispatch consoles to 16. A break area, quiet room, exercise room and four bunk rooms also are included in the plans.

Carey said the exercise room and sleep rooms aren’t excessive. He said employees working a 12-hour shift have higher morale and better health if

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Boone County, 911 officials prepared to launch new facility plans

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they have the opportunity to get in quick workouts during their lunch breaks. That leads to less sick leave and turnover. In situations such as February’s snowstorms, workers need to stay for extended periods of time. “They can actually go into a sleep room and get a five- or six-hour nap, they can get a 30-minute run, and it’s like they’ve gone home,” Carey said. “When they get back on that console, they have to be mentally prepared for that eight or 10 hours of taking those calls. There’s no fluff built into that plan.” The spending breakdown for the ballot proposal estimates a total cost of $20 million for the building, new radio and other equipment and new information technology hardware and software. Both Grass Roots Organizing and Keep Columbia Free have criticized the sales tax proposal, arguing that sales taxes are regressive because they put a heavier financial burden on low-income residents. Both organizations also have said that the estimated $11.3 million cost of a new building — and the projected annual budget — is excessive. Annual operational costs are about $2.7 million now, but under the new plan, they are estimated to be about $8.7 million when the cost of retiring debt and keeping equipment up to do date is included. Both groups have said that 911 officials are simply asking for too much. Grass Roots Organizing representative Mary Hussmann also has questioned why the $2.7 million currently allocated for 911 services from the city, the county and user agencies would be redirected to other uses without citizen input. As it stands, Columbia operates the Joint Communications service, and only five of the 13 agencies that use it chip in to cover the cost. User agencies include the Columbia Police and Fire departments, the Boone County Sheriff's Department, hospital ambulance services and the two county fire districts. The bulk of $2.7 million comes from the city of Columbia. If Proposition 1 is approved, its portion, $1.7 million, would go toward hiring more police and firefighters, Mike Matthes, the city manager, has said. The county's portion — between $600,00 to $700,000 — would continue to go into joint communications.

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Boone County, 911 officials prepared to launch new facility plans

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The Southern Boone County Fire Protection District, which pays about $32,000 annually, and the Boone County Fire Protection District, which pays $125,000 annually, have not decided what actions they will take if Proposition 1 passes. Some early discussion hinted at discontinuing the tax. Dave Dunford, a radio service specialist for Public Safety and Joint Communications, said he knew from the start that there would be opposition to the sales tax, especially with the rooms that some people might perceive as luxuries. He said county officials aren't looking for "Cadillac" buildings such as those in Greene and Johnson counties. He was referencing an editorial written by Columbia Daily Tribune publisher Hank Waters. “We’re looking for an entry-level Buick, possibly an Impala Chevrolet,” Dunford said. “Once the shell of the structure is in place, all we’re asking for in technology is that these people with big hearts (be able to) do their jobs.” The plan also calls for a new radio tower and equipment that would be housed in a small structure near the of the tower. It would simply be a replacement for the downtown radio site, he said. Dunford has handled radio service planning for the 911 center for about nine years. He said the extra space and room to expand in the plan is necessary now, so that the “techno nerds” can work around the radio equipment and to meet Columbia's future technology needs. He said that there will be a need for more technology centers that can serve as backup facilities for existing operations in and around Columbia and that the new 911 center could be available for this service. “If you build it, they will come,” Dunford said. “If you build a radio tower, tenants will come.” The Emergency Operations Center would have a small data center ideal for city Internet protocol backup, Dunford said. So in case there is a problem with the Daniel Boone City Building, the 911 center could take over. “The plan, and it’s a very easy one, involves clever construction of conventional materials to build something where every step has backup to it,” Dunford said. “Backup electric, backup heating and cooling. If it fails, we put on Plan B.” Dunford said the 911 center in Johnson County offers a convenient and useful layout that Boone County can learn from. Built in 2009, it's rated as EF4 tornado-proof.

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Boone County, 911 officials prepared to launch new facility plans

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The Johnson County Emergency Communication Center serves a population of more than 650,000, almost four times that of Boone County. Steve Davidson, communications systems manager of the Johnson County facility, said a lack of space drove the need for a new building there. Operations were in the basement of the courthouse. Demand had grown, and there wasn’t room for expansion. Staff increases made the situation worse. Davidson said the center has places for employees to bunk and exercise, as well. He said it was planned into the project from the start, and to him, these are a tiny bit of extra space within the big picture. Davidson said the construction of the Johnson County facility cost about $21 million and was paid through a capital improvement plan. Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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Council candidates, 911 tax committee file finance reports 8 day...

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COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN Council candidates, 911 tax committee file finance reports 8 days before election By Hannah Cushman March 28, 2013 | 5:49 p.m. CDT COLUMBIA — In terms of fundraising, two candidates in Tuesday's municipal election have separated themselves from the rest, according to the latest round of campaign finance reports submitted to the Missouri Ethics Commission. Incumbent Mayor Bob McDavid has topped the total earnings list again, raising a total of $25,485 this election season. Fourth Ward candidate Ian Thomas isn't far behind, though; he's received $23,928 so far. MoreStory Related Media

Here is a PDF of the campaign finance report that Mayor Bob McDavid's re-election campaign filed on Monday.

Third Ward Councilman Gary Kespohl, however, has earned the most since the first finance reports were filed in late January. Those reports show his opponent, Karl Skala, took an early lead of several thousand dollars, but Kespohl's contributions have surged ahead in the past two months. He raised $19,000 to Skala's $2,500 during the most recent filing period. The second greatest fundraiser since February was not a candidate at all. Citizens for Effective Emergency Response, the committee formed in support of Boone County's proposed sales-tax-funded emergency dispatch improvements, has amassed $17,450 for its campaign. Boone County Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill contributed almost a third of that sum, while Southern District Commissioner Karen Miller gave $1,000. Mayoral race McDavid earned an additional $12,905 this collection cycle,

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Council candidates, 911 tax committee file finance reports 8 day...

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bringing his campaign coffer to a total of $25,485. That's less than half than the more than $50,000 he raised three years ago, but he remains the top fundraising candidate on Tuesday's ballot. Sullivan has focused less on fundraising, adding $3,630 to the money he reported having in January, for a total of $9,400. Here is a PDF of the finance report that mayoral candidate Sid Sullivan's campaign filed on Monday.

Here is a PDF of the finance report filed by Third Ward City Council candidate Karl Skala's campaign on Monday.

And while McDavid reported three times as many donations between $500 and $599 — six versus Sullivan's two — both mayoral candidates got more donations of $200 than any other amount. Of Sullivan's contributors, all but one were individuals; Citizens Involved and Invested in Columbia, a political action committee organized last spring in opposition to blight, gave $500. A quarter of McDavid's 29 donations came from companies, including: $500 from law firm Van Matre & Harrison PC. $500 from Con-Agg of MO, LLC. $200 from Old Hawthorne developer Lifestyle Homes, Inc. According to the report, McDavid has spent about as much on radio advertisement, his biggest expense, as Sullivan has spent in total this reporting period. The bulk of Sullivan's money has gone to Mail & More in Columbia for mailing services and postage.

Here is a PDF of the finance report that Third Ward Councilman Gary Kespohl's re-election campaign filed on Monday.

At the close of the period, McDavid had about $17,000 remaining and no outstanding debt, while Sullivan had $2,000 on hand and $3,000 in bills yet to pay. Third Ward race Although he got off to a slow start, Kespohl has collected about twice as much as his opponent, drawing all but $1,700 of his $21,000 total during the most recent filing period.

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Council candidates, 911 tax committee file finance reports 8 day...

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Skala has reported the opposite trend. His first report in late January showed he had raised more than $9,000. The report filed Monday listed about $2,500 more in contributions, for a campaign total of just under $12,000.

Here is a PDF of the finance report that Fourth Ward Councilman Daryl Dudley's re-election campaign filed on Monday.

In all, 122 supporters donated to Kespohl. About a fifth of those were companies, mostly real estate and construction firms. Kespohl's most generous single contribution, however, came from the political committee Friends of Caleb Jones. According the report, the 50th District Republican state representative's committee gave Kespohl $1,000 on March 19. Skala received funding from 22 individuals and from one committee, the Mid-Missouri Labor Club. The union advocacy group gave Skala two donations about a week apart for a total contribution of $800.

Here is a PDF of the finance report that Fourth Ward City Council candidate Ian Thomas' campaign filed on Monday.

Kespohl has funneled more than $7,000 into production and advertisement fees; Skala had spent $1,000 on newspaper ads. Neither candidate had exhausted his funds: Kespohl has $13,000 yet to spend before Tuesday, while Skala had just less than $8,000. Fourth Ward race Dudley reported raising a total of $14,500 for his campaign, with an average per-supporter contribution of $250.

Here is a PDF of the finance report that Fourth Ward City Council candidate Bill Weitkemper's campaign filed on Monday.

Still, despite collecting only $7,658 — about a third of his last cycle's total — Thomas maintained a comfortable financial advantage. Second only to McDavid, Thomas had gathered about $24,000 by the time his campaign filed the report Monday. Weitkemper has received a modest $1,200 since January, with $500 of that coming from Citizens Involved and Invested in Columbia. To date, he has raised a little more than $5,700.

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Council candidates, 911 tax committee file finance reports 8 day...

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Thomas is the only candidate this period to list himself among his contributors. According to the report, Thomas has put $3,233 into his own campaign. His father-in-law, former mayor Darwin Hindman, also donated $1,000. Four of Thomas's 57 contributions came from downtown businesses, with Main Squeeze's donation of $675 the greatest among them. Here is a PDF of the finance report filed Monday by Citizens for Effective Emergency Response, which is campaigning for approval of the three-eighths-cent 911 and emergency management tax on the April 2 ballot.

Related Articles McDavid, Skala, Thomas sworn in to Columbia City Council Ian Thomas wins Fourth Ward Columbia City Council seat Bob McDavid tops Sid Sullivan, wins second term as Columbia's mayor Karl Skala reclaims Third Ward Columbia City Council seat Boone County voters approve 911 sales tax Voters offer thoughts on Tuesday's municipal election VOTERS GUIDE: Mayoral candidates' views on Columbia issues

Dudley, like Kespohl, received $1,000 from Friends of Caleb Jones. His list of contributors also contained several $500 donations from firms in the construction and development businesses. One industry veteran, Bob Grove, contributed $500 to Weitkemper. Grove formerly co-owned Little Dixie Construction but retired in 2009. He now owns Grove Construction. As in fundraising, Thomas led the pack in campaign spending, dropping about $1,100 on a newspaper ad and more than $2,000 on printing. Dudley spent a similar amount on print advertising but had spent another $1,000 for radio time. Meanwhile, Weitkemper spent about $500 to partner with local ad agency Axiom Media. According the reports, Weitkemper had $2,500 on hand, compared to Thomas' $15,000 and Dudley's $10,000. Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

VOTERS GUIDE: Third Ward City Council candidates' views on Columbia issues VOTERS GUIDE: Fourth Ward City Council candidates' views on Columbia issues What you need to know before you go the polls on Tuesday

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MUNICIPAL ELECTION

VOTERS GUIDE MAYORAL CANDIDATES

BOB MCDAVID Personal: Age 63. He is married to Suzanne McDavid. They have two children and three grandchildren. Occupation: Mayor, retired obstetrician. Website: mcdavidforcolumbia.com Facebook: facebook.com/ McDavidForColumbia Twitter: @bobmcdavid

SID SULLIVAN

SUNDAY & MONDAY, March 31-April 1, 2013 — Page 5A

Trying to get up to speed on the races and issues on Tuesday’s ballot? The Missourian can help. Find more information online at bit.ly/ZOmoMj

THIRD WARD CANDIDATES

FOURTH WARD CANDIDATES

KARL SKALA

GARY KESPOHL

IAN THOMAS

DARYL DUDLEY

BILL WEITKEMPER

Personal: Age 66. He is married to Mahree Skala. He has three children from a previous marriage. Occupation: Retired biomedical research coordinator at MU. Website: skalaforcouncil. org Facebook: facebook.com/ karl.skala

Personal: Age 66. Married to Patty Kespohl. They have two sons and six grandchildren. Occupation: Owner and manager of Central Missouri Computer Center. Website: gary4council.com Facebook: facebook. com/pages/Gary-Kespohl4-Columbia-City-Council /267110453810 Twitter: @Gary4Council

Personal: Age 51. He is married to Ellen Thomas. They have a daughter, Emily, and a son, Jack. Occupation: Transportation consultant Website: ianfor4th.com Facebook: facebook.com/ IanThomasfor4thWard

Personal: Age 54. Married to Rita Dudley. Occupation: Manager of Hy-Vee convenience store at 3120 W. Broadway. Website: daryldudleyforcouncil.com Facebook: www.facebook. com/pages/Daryl-Dudleyfor-4th-Ward-City-Council/362465429152

Personal: Age 64. He is married to Judy Weitkemper. They have six children and 14 grandchildren. Occupation: Retired sewer maintenance supervisor for city of Columbia Website: voteweitkemper. com Facebook: facebook.com/ voteWeitkemper Twitter: @VoteWeitkemper

Notes that Planning and Zoning Commission and others are reviewing C-2 zoning and that there have been similar efforts in the past. Says “overlay” zoning or conditional use permits for high-density residential might work.

Says stakeholders are already reviewing this but some think C-2 zoning is OK the way it is. Favors the review and is open to changes.

Would consider overlay zoning to discourage overbuilding student housing. Wants to encourage housing downtown for professionals, seniors and families.

Says that the city must embark on revising downtown zoning and that all stakeholders must be included so development, legal, planning, zoning, environmental and resident input are considered.

Says residential construction in C-2 zones is inappropriate without height restrictions and parking and setback requirements.

Says the enhanced enterprise zone was inappropriate. The city should be careful about ceding leverage to industry and about which industries it recruits. Industrial and business parks target more specific areas.

Says incentives are worth carefully considering, case by case. Fairness to existing business is important. Says tax increment financing should be reserved for specific projects rather than districts.

Says that incentives have “become a way of the world” and that the city needs a list of incentives it can offer to become a player in the market.

Skeptical of enhanced enterprise zones and other incentives to lure new business. Would prefer to provide incentives to existing employers to expand and hire more workers.

Favors incentives, if necessary, as a means of putting people with less education to work. Would consider incentives on an individual basis.

Opposes incentives for new businesses. Says the city shouldn’t give public money to private enterprises.

Says the city needs to get to 500 passengers per day. Increasing demand, in part by attracting more people to Columbia, is important before the city invests millions in airport upgrades.

Says the city could probably attract more and better flight service. Says there is a need to update the airport terminal but doesn’t want to take a “Cadillac approach.”

Says terminal enhancements are key to being able to handle more flights and attract more passengers.

Says terminal upgrades are necessary but shouldn’t cost many millions of dollars. Supports expanding air traffic and bringing in new airlines but reluctant to provide incentives such as revenue guarantees.

Favors making the terminal ADA compliant and fixing it up, but not spending $17 million to do so. Wants more airlines flying in and out at prices that will make the airport competitive.

Says that the terminal should be ADA accessible, that the city should explore regional ownership of the airport and that the mayor should cede management to professionals. Opposes revenue guarantees to airlines.

Calls for a market study of the bus system to determine organization and strategies for attracting riders. Says it’s important to serve not only students but also other local residents.

Says the city should have a multi-size fleet to meet varying ridership demand in different parts of the city. Supports longer service hours and perhaps weekend service. Advocates “user-based” fees to finance the system.

Wants to expand transit but find a way to make it financially sustainable. Advocates reviewing and adjusting routes but says he needs to study the system more before reaching firm conclusions.

Says the city should bring in a consultant to assess public support for bus service and recommend how to expand it, from both technical and political points of view.

Says the key to more riders is to have more buses that are easier to use, run on time and get people where they want to go. That will take time, but it’s important to get cars off the street and to cut down on energy use and pollution.

Wants the city to hire a professional manager. Says the mayor should not try to manage the system. Says low-income people and those with disabilities need buses more than students.

Says the intersection of Stadium and Providence is the most important need. Wants to evaluate traffic circulation in central Columbia. Clark Lane is the most important sidewalk need.

Says the Third Ward has been neglected since he left the council in 2010. Wants to make road and sidewalk projects possible with a user-based approach that assesses development impact.

Wants street and sidewalk projects on Clark Lane from Route PP to Ballenger Lane, Ballenger from Clark to Mexico Gravel Road and Brown Station Road northeast to the city limits.

Wants to address street needs using a “traffic demand management tool kit” that would promote carpooling, a better bus system and staggered commute times.

Wants to make Clark Lane safe for pedestrians and people in wheelchairs. Figuring out how to keep streets and infrastructure below them in shape is a priority, but money is a challenge.

Says the first thing to do is to fix sewer and stormwater infrastructure below the streets. Those problems, he notes, are more serious but not as noticeable as potholes.

Says luxury student apartments deprive students and others of affordable housing. New student housing, he says, should be connected with public transportation.

Says the city must accommodate enrollment growth but warns that the pace of MU enrollment might slow. The city, he says, must carefully evaluate that possibility.

Says housing and parking are the greatest impacts. Would rather have student apartments downtown and near campus so they can ride the bus rather than driving from far areas of town.

Says rising enrollment is good for the economy. Believes that it makes sense to have students living downtown but that the city has to get ahead of transportation needs.

Says it’s important to ensure students contribute to the local economy and to provide jobs for them. Students should live close to campus, and the city must ensure adequate parking and infrastructure.

Says the city should benefit from increased sales tax revenue that comes with higher enrollment and that C-2 zoning needs to ensure adequate parking and height restrictions on student apartments downtown.

Notes that the area police must patrol has expanded. Wants a northern substation and says the council should examine other capital needs of the Police Department.

Says it’s imperative that the Police Department build public trust. Advocates community policing to develop sources who will identify “bad guys” and help people arrest them.

Says it would be a good idea to have two precincts, north and south, to speed up response times and shift changes through the downtown headquarters.

Says that increased staffing is important and that community policing has proved successful in helping build trust between community leaders and law enforcement.

Calls for better customer service from the department. Wants precinct patrols so that residents know the police serving their area.

Believes personnel changes might be necessary to build trust between officers and police administration.

Says neighborhood policing is important so that residents recognize officers in their areas. Says the ability to add police officers is a function of budgeting.

Says crime prevention is a primary responsibility of government. Police command staff should interact more with the public. Cites community policing in Douglass Park as a success.

Says Neighborhood Watch and community policing have proved effective. Residents should know officers by their first names and be able to call them any time they need.

Says community policing helps officers build social capital. Wants to empower neighborhood associations, particularly in the First Ward.

Says police should focus on speeding. Regarding violent crime, he says police should focus on hot spots and get the people they know are responsible for break-ins and shootings off the streets.

Says that a better court system would help keep violent criminals off the streets and that creating more jobs for young people would reduce crime.

Says road and sidewalk improvements in the Ballenger Lane and Clark Lane corridors is important, particularly given that Battle High School will open in that area soon.

Infrastructure would be his priority. Streets in northeast parts of the Third Ward, as well as sewer and water systems, need attention because they were installed by builders before city standards applied.

Says Fourth Ward residents continue to worry that the city will widen West Broadway between Clinkscales Road and Aldeah Avenue. Believes that is unnecessary if the city controls traffic congestion.

Wants to connect Scott Boulevard to I-70 and establish a school in southwest Columbia. Wants to improve West Boulevard and Broadway in the Old Southwest and address aging sewer systems.

Wants to focus on infrastructure, particularly water, sewer and stormwater lines.

Personal: Age 69. He is married to Joan Sullivan. Occupation: Retired. Website: sidsullivan.com Facebook page: facebook.com/pages/ Sid-Sullivan-for-Mayor/347039202072191 Twitter: @sidsullivan

DOWNTOWN ZONING Says it’s useful to explore C-2 zoning in terms of building height, parking requirements, etc., but notes that downtown is vibrant and that C-2 zoning has served well thus far.

Says the city must determine appropriate uses downtown. Wants zoning that promotes a walkable environment that allows people to linger and enjoy downtown.

DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVES Notes that incentives helped bring IBM and Beyond Meat to Columbia and that they’re a fact of life. They should be considered carefully, case by case.

AIRPORT Pursuing “40 in 2020,” or 40 percent of area customers flying from Columbia by 2020. That would be 500 passengers per day. Wants more flights to Chicago and other destinations, then a new terminal.

BUS SYSTEM Started FastCat loop downtown and around MU. Wants student apartments in south Columbia to support routes and to use that revenue to fund core routes serving people with disabilities and/or low incomes.

STREETS, SIDEWALKS AND TRAILS Praises the existing trail system. The main challenge with streets is funding. Cites $200 million in street needs but notes the city has only about $6 million per year to work with.

MU ENROLLMENT Housing, parking and transportation are primary challenges. Private sector is trying to meet housing demand. Wants students living close to campus so that buses are more convenient than cars.

POLICE DEPARTMENT Calls low customer satisfaction and low morale within the department unacceptable but says changes suggested in a consultant’s report are under way and will work.

CRIME Says crime rate is relatively low. Cites a need for more training, more policing in crime hot spots and more neighborhood policing. Wants a citizenry that is respectful and satisfied with Police Department.

OTHER PRIORITIES Improving roads and other infrastructure, along with police and fire protection, crime prevention and economic improvement. Wants to continue “selling” the community to business and industry.

Says the council should develop policies to guide its decisions in passing ordinances. Jobs are important, but he would look beyond REDI and toward an advisory committee to create jobs for young people.


COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN

Page 6A — SUNDAY & MONDAY, March 31-April 1, 2013

VOTERS GUIDE continued THE ISSUES PROPOSITION #1 SEEKS SALES TAX FOR 911 AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT Proposition #1 on Tuesday’s ballot seeks a three-eighths-cent sales tax to finance an overhaul of Boone County’s 911 and emergency management centers. The sales tax, which would add 3.75 cents to the cost of a $10 purchase, would generate an estimated $9.3 million per year for Public Safety Joint Communications and the Office of Emergency Management. A breakdown on for how the money would be spent calls for a total of $20 million in capital projects, including: $11.35 million to design and build a new center for 911 and emergency management operations. The center would be partially underground and would be built on the county’s law enforcement campus off Roger I. Memorial Drive, near the Boone County Jail and Sheriff’s Department building.

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$2.83 million for new radio equipment.

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$5.82 million for new information technology hardware and software and other equipment.

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25 additional call-takers for the 911 center.

of Columbia, Boone County, fire districts, ambulance services and others.

$655,000 for maintenance, support and licensing of information technology equipment.

Opponents of the tax, including representatives of Grass Roots Organizing and Keep Columbia Free, have criticized the proposal as exorbitant and as lacking in detail. They also argue that the sales tax would be unfair to people with low incomes.

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$260,000 for radio system support and maintenance.

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$930,000 for other operational expenses.

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Annual projected spending for the Office of Emergency Management totals $515,000 for personnel, equipment maintenance and other costs. Debt retirement on bonds issued to finance capital projects would cost an estimated $2.2 million per year. Boone County commissioners, Sheriff Dwayne Carey and other officials have said improvements to the 911 and emergency management operations, as well as additional staff, are essential to keep pace with the rising number of calls to the 911 center and to improve aging and crowded facilities. If the tax is approved, the county would oversee management of all 911 and emergency management services.

Annual projected spending for 911 The existing budget for these services operations would break down as follows: is about $3 million per year. Those Q $4.1 million for personnel. County costs are covered by contributions from user agencies, including the city officials have said they would hire

Here is the actual language that will appear on Tuesday's ballot: County of Boone Proposition #1 Shall Boone County, Missouri, impose a new county-wide sales tax not to exceed three-eighths of one percent for the limited purposes of providing funding for a county-wide joint communications and dispatch center (911 Center), and for the funding of emergency management services, including the acquisition, improvement, construction, and equipping of facilities for said purposes and operating the same? Q Q

Yes No

COLUMBIA CHARTER AMENDMENT WOULD RESTRICT THE USE OF EMINENT DOMAIN A city charter amendment on the April 2 ballot is intended to reduce the threat of eminent domain and blight associated with enhanced enterprise zones and other state or federal economic development programs.

have said they don’t believe voter approval of the amendment would prompt them to propose an EEZ again.

The Columbia City Council at its Nov. 19 meeting unanimously voted to place Proposition 1 on the ballot. It would prevent the city from using eminent domain to acquire property for economic development with the intention of transferring seized property to private entities. The proposed charter amendment arose from a controversy last year over whether to establish one or more EEZs in Columbia. Residents became wary of the EEZ blight designation that targeted a large area of the city, saying that would render areas within an EEZ easy prey for the use of eminent domain. The amendment would declare that the designation of property as “blighted” to qualify for incentive programs cannot be used to justify the use of eminent domain. Representatives of Regional Economic Development, Inc.,

Here is the actual language that will appear on Tuesday’s ballot: CITY OF COLUMBIA PROPOSITION 1 Shall the Columbia Home Rule Charter be amended to add a section that would prohibit the City from using eminent domain to acquire property for economic development with the intent that the property will ultimately be transferred to another person or entity to be used for private purposes? The designation of property as “blighted” for purposes of qualifying for any state or federal economic development program shall not be used as a step toward the use of eminent domain. Q Q

Yes No

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO THE POLLS ON TUESDAY Columbia and Boone County voters will head to the polls on Tuesday to elect representatives to city and town councils, to choose school board members and to decide the fate of ballot issues.

Who is eligible to vote? Anyone who is a U.S. citizen, a resident of Boone County, at least 18 years old and is not serving any felony sentences is eligible to vote. You must have registered by March 6, though.

In Columbia, voters will elect a mayor, fill the Third and Fourth ward seats on the Columbia City Council and cast ballots on a charter amendment that would prevent the city from using eminent domain to transfer property for private redevelopment.

Where do I vote? You can visit the website of Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren to either search for your polling place or find a complete list of all the county’s polling places. The clerk’s office also has mailed sample ballots and polling place notices to all registered voters in the county.

There will be no school board election in the Columbia Public Schools district because the three incumbents, Jan Mees, Jim Whitt and Darin Preis, are unopposed. Voters across the county will either approve or reject a threeeighths-cent sales tax for 911 and emergency management facilities and operations. Here’s what voters need to know before they go to the polls:

When do I vote? The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Will I need identification? Yes. You can use any of these forms: Q A voter ID card from Boone County Q A driver’s license (Missouri or other states) Q An ID issued by a state agency Q An ID issued by an institution of higher education (university,

college, vocational and technical school) located within Missouri Q A passport, Social Security card, Medicaid or Medicare card or other identification issued by the federal government Q A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that contains your name and address What if I’ve moved since the last election? You’ll need to notify the clerk’s office that you have changed your address. You can either do that on the clerk’s website or at the clerk’s office at the Roger B. Wilson Boone County Government Center, 801 E. Walnut St. Where do I go for more information? Call the Voter Registration Office at (573) 886-4375 or the Voter Information Hotline at (573) 875-8683. — Missourian staff

FROM THE FRONT PAGE

School districts make effort to use fund FUND from page 1A In fiscal year 2010, Missouri school districts collected reimbursements from the fund for 2,177 students but last fiscal year that number rose to more than 2,700 students. Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education spokeswoman Sarah Potter said the fund typically increases by about 10 percent every year. But between 2012 and 2013, the

fund’s cost jumped by 18 percent, which she described as “unusual.” The cost increase isn’t only because there are more kids with special needs. School districts have also been getting better at documenting high-cost students and collecting the reimbursement money. “Much of our increase in the last five years has been due to our efforts to maximize our reimbursement,”

said Dave Wilson, the administration supervisor of special services at Columbia Public Schools. Other school districts have gotten better at collecting reimbursements, too. In 2009 the state paid $26 million total to schools for special needs students, but in the current fiscal year Missouri districts are projected to get more than $40 million from the fund. Wilson attributes part of

his district’s increase to a change in state regulations about how schools are reimbursed for students requiring 24-hour nursing care. Missouri recently began requiring districts to bill the cost of nursing care for students while they are at school to Medicaid. “Unfortunately, it also means we had more costs overall and we never recoup them all since the High Needs fund only reimburses

for the costs beyond three times typical students,” Wilson said. From 2010 to 2011, Columbia’s reimbursement through the High Needs fund doubled from $600,000 to more than $1.2 million. Some of the fund increase approved by lawmakers will be used to pay off schools for bills left over from 2012. Some lawmakers have cited the growth in the fund as a reason not to spend every

dollar the state is projected to take in during a given fiscal year. Gov. Jay Nixon’s budget plan does not include any money for a supplemental budget like the one passed this week replenishing the needs fund. Luebbering said state departments have asked for enough money in next year’s budget to avoid a supplemental, but some lawmakers remain skeptical. “This didn’t work last year,” said Rep. Chris Kelly.

Politics fuel states’ resistance to health care act MEDICAID from page 1A the old Confederacy and Civil War border states — Florida’s Rick Scott is the only Republican governor to endorse expansion, and he faces opposition from his GOP colleagues in the legislature. Tennessee’s Bill Haslam, the Deep South’s last governor to take a side, added his name to the opposition Wednesday. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has endorsed Medicaid expansion, but the Republican-led House failed to include the expansion in its budget. Haley offers the common explanation, saying expansion will “bust our budgets.” But the policy reality is more complicated. The hospital industry and other advocacy groups continue to tell GOP governors that expansion would be a good arrangement, and there are signs that some Republicans are trying to find ways to expand insurance coverage. Haslam told Tennessee lawmakers that he’d rather use any new money to subsidize private insurance. That’s actually the approach of another anchor of Obama’s law: insurance exchanges where Americans can buy private policies with premium subsidies from taxpayers. Yet for now, governors’ rejec-

‘Many of the citizens who would benefit the most from this live in the reddest of states with the most intense opposition.’ DREW ALTMAN

President of the Kaiser Family Foundation

tion of Medicaid expansion will leave large swaths of Americans without coverage because they make too much money to qualify for Medicaid as it exists but not enough to get the subsidies to buy insurance in the exchanges. Many public health studies show that the same population suffers from higher-than-average rates of obesity, smoking and diabetes — variables that yield bad health outcomes and expensive hospital care. “Many of the citizens who would benefit the most from this live in the reddest of states with the most intense opposition,” said Drew Altman, president of the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation. So why are these states holding out? The short-term calculus seems heavily influenced by politics. Haley, Haslam, Nathan Deal of Georgia and Robert Bentley of Alabama face re-election next year. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is up for re-election in 2015. Louisiana Gov. Bobby

Jindal is term-limited at home but may seek the presidency in 2016. While they all govern GOP-leaning states, they still must safeguard their support among Republican voters. Florida’s Scott, the South’s GOP exception on expansion, faces a different dynamic. He won just 49 percent of the vote in 2010 and must face an electorate that twice supported Obama. South Carolina state Rep. Kris Crawford told a business journal that he supports expansion, but said electoral math is the trump card. “It is good politics to oppose the black guy in the White House right now, especially for the Republican Party,” he said. At the Tennessee Hospital Association, President Craig Becker has spent months trying to break through that barrier as he travels to civic and business groups across Tennessee. “It’s really hard for some of them to separate something that has the name ‘Obamacare’ on it from what’s going to be best for the state,” he

said, explaining that personality driven politics are easier to understand than the complicated way that the U.S. pays for health care. Medicaid is financed mostly by Congress, though states have to put in their own money to qualify for the cash from Washington. The federal amount is determined by a state’s per-capita income, with poorer states getting more help. On average in 2012, the feds paid 57 cents of every Medicaid dollar. It was 74 cents in Mississippi, 71 in Kentucky, 70 in Arkansas and South Carolina, 68 in Alabama. Those numbers would be even higher counting bonuses from Obama’s 2009 stimulus bill. Obama’s law mandated that states open Medicaid to everyone with household income up to 138 percent of the federal poverty rate — $15,420 a year for an individual or $31,812 for a family of four. The federal government would cover all costs of new Medicaid patients from 2014 to 2016 and pick up most of the price tag after that, requiring states to pay up to 10 percent. The existing Medicaid population would continue under the old formula. In its ruling on the law, the Supreme Court left the details alone, but declared that states could choose whether to expand.

Hospital and physician lobbying groups around the country have endorsed a bigger Medicaid program. Becker said he explains on his road show that the Obama law paired Medicaid growth with cuts to payments to hospitals for treating the uninsured. Just as they do with Medicaid insurance, states already contribute their own money to get federal help with those so-called “uncompensated care” payments. The idea was instead of paying hospitals directly, states and Congress could spend that money on Medicaid and have those new beneficiaries — who now drive costs with preventable hospital admissions and expensive emergency room visits — use the primary care system. But the Supreme Court ruling creates a scenario where hospitals can lose existing revenue with getting the replacement cash Congress intended, all while still having to treat the uninsured patients who can’t get coverage. Becker said that explanation has gotten local chambers of commerce across Tennessee to endorse expansion. “These are rock-ribbed Republicans,” he said. “But they all scratch their heads and say, ‘Well, if that’s the case, then of course we do this.’” In Louisiana, Jindal’s health care agency quietly released an analysis saying the changes

could actually save money over time. But the Republican Governors Association chairman is steadfast in his opposition. In Georgia, Deal answers pressure from his state’s hospital association with skepticism about projected “uncompensated care” savings and Congress’ pledge to finance 90 percent of the new Medicaid costs. Altman, the Kaiser foundation leader, predicted that opposition will wane over time. Arkansas Republicans, who oppose Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe’s call for expansion, have floated the same idea as Haslam: pushing would-be Medicaid recipients into the insurance exchanges. Deal convinced Georgia lawmakers this year to let an appointed state board set a hospital industry tax to generate some of the state money that supports Medicaid. That fee — which 49 states use in some way — is the same tool that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is using to cover her state’s Medicaid expansion. Georgia Democrats and some hospital executives have quietly mused that Deal is leaving himself an option to widen Medicaid in his expected term. “These guys are looking for ways to do this while still saying they are against ‘Obamacare,’” Altman said. “As time goes by, we’ll see this law acquire a more bipartisan complexion.”


Boone County voters approve 911 sales tax

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COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN Boone County voters approve 911 sales tax By Bailey Otto April 2, 2013 | 10:52 p.m. CDT

Mary Pat Murphy, left, administrative assistant for public safety joint communications, and Michanne Mattson, right, geographic information systems support coordinator for public safety joint communications, celebrate after voters approved a new sales tax Tuesday to pay for 911 dispatch and emergency management services. ÂŚ Jessica Salmond

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Boone County voters approve 911 sales tax

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/160399/boone-county-vo...

COLUMBIA — Boone County voters approved a new sales tax Tuesday to pay for 911 dispatch and emergency management services after months of campaigning by county officials. The final count was 10,934 votes, or 56.82 percent, in favor of the tax to 8,309, or 43.18 percent, in opposition. MoreStory Related Media

Betty Wilson talks with presiding commissioner Dan Atwill while waiting for voting results for Proposition 1 at the watch party on Tuesday evening at the Bleu Restaurant and Wine Bar.

Related Articles Lawmakers consider funding boost for Missouri 911 McDavid, Skala, Thomas sworn in to Columbia City Council Ian Thomas wins Fourth Ward Columbia City Council seat Bob McDavid tops Sid Sullivan, wins second term as Columbia's mayor Karl Skala reclaims Third Ward

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The three-eighths-cent sales tax takes effect Oct. 1 and will generate an estimated $9.3 million per year to finance construction of a new 911 and emergency management center that county officials have said will withstand an F5 tornado. It also will allow the county to hire more call-takers and to upgrade radio equipment and information technology hardware and software. Supporters mingled, drank tea and munched on bread, chips and salsa while awaiting the final count at the "Yes on 1 for 911" watch party in a downstairs room of Bleu Restaurant & Wine Bar. Most supporters were optimistic the tax would pass, they said, because the need was too big to say no. Sheriff Dwayne Carey said he never doubted the tax would pass, but now that it has, his job will center on getting back to being sheriff and doing whatever the commission asks of him. Joe Piper, the acting Operations Manager at Boone County Joint Communications, found himself speechless at a rostrum after cheers celebrated the election victory. He was floored. Piper said has been dreaming of this for years, and now that it's happened, he's thankful.

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Boone County voters approve 911 sales tax

Columbia City Council seat Voters offer thoughts on Tuesday's municipal election VOTERS GUIDE: Mayoral candidates' views on Columbia issues VOTERS GUIDE: Third Ward City Council candidates' views on Columbia issues VOTERS GUIDE: Fourth Ward City Council candidates' views on Columbia issues

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/160399/boone-county-vo...

"I'm exalted to have a direction," he said. Boone County Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill said the next phase is getting 911 user groups and residents involved in helping out as an advisory board. He said the commission would begin to draft a request this week for bids from architects to design the new 911 center. Atwill said he hopes to personally visit other 911 centers in surrounding counties as early as the end of this week.

Carey and others have said they hope to add up to 20 more call-takers at the dispatch center to keep pace with the rising number of calls from residents and from people using cell phones. That would mean adding another four workers per shift. Right now, only one call-taker is on duty during a single shift. What you need to know before you go the polls on Tuesday

Annual operating costs for the new center are estimated at $6.4 million. The building would cost about $11.3 million, and other equipment and capital costs are estimated at $8.7 million. The cost of retiring bonds that would finance the overhaul would be about $2.2 million for each of the next 20 years. The new facility will be built on the county law enforcement campus on Roger I. Wilson Memorial Drive. Supporters of the tax said it is necessary to bring up to date a 911 system that was envisioned decades ago and that has failed to keep pace with new technology and the soaring population of Boone County. Opponents, however, argued that sales tax adversely affects the poor and that the county had not adequately detailed plans for how it would spend the money. They also noted that the existing 911 and emergency management systems operate on $3 million per year and wondered why such a huge jump in its annual budget is necessary. Mark Flakne of Keep Columbia Free also argued that city and county officials have mismanaged their money and could have found some funding within their existing budgets to upgrade the systems. Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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County, city officials talk about timeline for new 911 center

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COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN County, city officials talk about timeline for new 911 center By Bailey Otto May 15, 2013 | 6:40 p.m. CDT COLUMBIA — Boone County officials hope to find a company later this year that can help them hire a project manager to oversee the transition to a new 911 facility. Officials from Public Safety Joint Communications, city and county government and representatives from the agencies that use the 911 facility met as a committee Wednesday to discuss how a project manager could help organize the management of a new facility. MoreStory Draft 2013 goals: Issue request for proposal for a 911 Public Safety Joint Communications consultant and project manager by September. Hire five full-time employees by November. Hire a full-time trainer by November. Hire a 911/joint communications director position or interim director by August. Switch current city employees to county employment from June to November 2015. Establish a hiring schedule for all

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Boone County Commissioner Dan Atwill said the point is to seek out a company that specializes in organizing 911 centers to hire a project manager. This person would work with the agencies and the Boone County Commission in managing the facility. Atwill said he would like to see the new center's operations work cohesively when the project is completed. He said he doesn't think anyone involved — whether 911 and emergency management employees or government officials — has sufficient knowledge of what would be needed for a facility of this magnitude. "None of us have built one of these things," Atwill said. "This is a massive operation in terms of organization. (A project manager) can give us the details, the nitty-gritty." The Boone County 911 sales tax, or Proposition #1, was approved to pay for construction of the 911 center by Boone County voters at the beginning of April, according to a previous Missourian article. The three-eighths-cent sales tax is estimated to generate $9.3 million per year and will take

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County, city officials talk about timeline for new 911 center

positions within the two new departments from September to July 2014. Decide when to end the land-line tariff from October to April 2014. Hire another five full-time call-takers from November to June 2014.

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effect in October. Boone County Treasurer Nicole Galloway presented a draft timeline of what the joint communications committee hopes to accomplish, along with an organizational chart detailing the management transition. According to the chart, the project manager and consultant would work with specialized committee members on information technology, radio and construction items.

Draft 2015 goals: Hire five more call-takers from January to August 2015. Make the transition to the 911/emergency management facility in October 2015. All 911/Joint Communication and Emergency Management employees transition to county technology starting in October 2015. Start permanent board appointment process and structure starting in October 2015.

After the county signs an agreement with a project manager, he or she would help develop requests and proposals for builders and architects. Atwill said this could include everything from generators to paper clips. "Remember, you're going to get what you ask for," Atwill said. "We want to make sure that the product works in our system." Currently, five of the 13 agencies that use the facility, along with the city and county governments, pay into the joint communications and emergency management operations. These agencies will stop paying at the end of 2013. City Manager Mike Matthes said the city can afford to carry the operations for the first three months of fiscal 2014, which starts Oct. 1. By January, the city would be in deficit, so if it continued to pay into the operations, it would send the bill only to the county, excluding the five user agencies

who pay in now. There will be future conversations about how to switch city workers in 911 and emergency management to county employment and about hiring new directors of those operations, Atwill said. Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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