County administrators seek billing statistics from E-911

By Buck Collier, Special Correspondent
Posted 1/15/20

Concerned about a lack of information for services for which they are being billed, Gasconade County administrators are scheduled today (Wednesday) to meet with directors of the county’s …

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County administrators seek billing statistics from E-911

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Concerned about a lack of information for services for which they are being billed, Gasconade County administrators are scheduled today (Wednesday) to meet with directors of the county’s Enhanced-911 program.

County officials are scheduled to talk with the 911 board at the dispatch center in Rosebud at 9 a.m.

Of primary concern for county officials is the cost being assessed by 911 to three county offices for what is considered “non-emergency” calls for assistance. These mostly consist of requests for information to go into, or be obtained from, the state MULES (Missouri Uniform Law Enforcement System) program.

According to county officeholders attending a budget session Thursday morning, the cost to the Gasconade County Sheriff’s Department, Circuit Clerk/Recorder Office and Prosecuting Attorney’s Office amounted to about $42,500 in 2019.

Circuit Clerk Pam Gruenke told the County Commission that she’s concerned about paying bills that lack specific information. “They do not give us a list of what they did for us that was non-emergency,” the circuit clerk said. Gruenke said she has requested an itemized list from the 911 Center, but that her request has gone unanswered. “They have never once provided that,” she said.

Southern District Associate Commissioner Jerry Lairmore arranged today’s meeting with 911 directors, possibly to renegotiate county government’s contract with the 911 Center.

Also, county officials said it would be worthwhile to consider connecting the Courthouse to the MULES program — a move that could be made when Callabyte rewires the Courthouse for high-speed Internet. That project is moving forward with Callabyte personnel recently touring the building to determine access points for the wiring.

County government will be receiving a single Internet provider with Callabyte, compared to the several providers that now serve the various offices.

The sheriff, circuit clerk and prosecuting attorney would have access to MULES during the business day Monday through Friday if a connection was available at one of the offices. Any use of MULES after hours or on weekends could be obtained through the 911 Center, they said. By having their own connection for weekday use, the cost for providing the service by the 911 Center should be lessened, county officials said.

The concern about the cost of handling the non-emergency requests arose during Thursday morning’s budget discussions between the County Commission and several officeholders, including the prosecuting attorney and circuit clerk.

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