E-9ll board to update bylaws, 28E Agreement
Jefferson County E-911 Board and Jefferson County Emergency Management Commission members will review the 28E Agreement between the two governing entities and approve any updates or revisions at the next meeting.
“The agreement, the contract [of employment for Emergency Management Coordinator] and the bylaws have not been updated for about 10 years,” said Sheriff Gregg Morton Thursday. “I think the 28E Agreement should be reviewed each year.”
He suggested the board members take the agreement and contract back to their local city councils and the board of supervisors for review and suggestions.
The communications tower located on the northwest corner of the courthouse yard is nearly 100 years old, built in 1920.
“Our current maintenance provider is not confident to climb it any longer,” said Morton. “FAA rules tell us to adjust the lights. We’ve found a company out of Kentucky, All State Tower, willing to provide maintenance on our towers.”
The E-911 board approved a $3,000 contract with All State Tower for maintenance on two towers.
The tower by the courthouse should probably be replaced in the near future due to its age, Morton said.
“If we’re going to be spending money on new towers, I would rather have more towers, smaller towers placed strategically around,” said Morton.
Morton also said the state tower about six miles north of Fairfield on Highway 1 will no longer be used and he will inquire about the county acquiring it.
“The state office there is hardly manned anymore and soon, all our communications will route through Cedar Rapids,” he said. “That’s a very tall tower.”
The height is significant because Morton said, and Batavia Mayor Randy Major confirmed, some low elevations in the county are dead spots in communication relays.
Jefferson County Jail Administrator Mike Simons, who has been acting interim emergency management administrator, reported Fairfield’s emergency warning sirens are functioning.
“All of our sirens are extremely old,” said Morton. “They are no longer made and we are repairing them with broken parts from broken sirens.”
Fairfield has three sirens used for emergency warning, such as a tornado warnings: one at the fairgrounds, one at O.B. Nelson Park, and one at Waterworks Park. Morton said sirens located near Washington Elementary School and Fairfield Middle School have not been operational for some time.
Simons has applied for a grant to update the warning sirens.
The board considered a request for a name change at Devi Nagar Subdivision off Kelp Avenue.
It’s not called Devi Nagar any longer, but has a sign announcing Forest Lake. The request is for a road name change, from Fairview Drive to East Lake Drive.
Fairfield already has a Fairview Drive, so to avoid confusion, the subdivision has re-named the street East Lake Drive.
Simons has been driving the county roads and checking 911 addresses to make sure they match what law enforcement has on record.
“I don’t mind the name change as long as any costs associated with it are borne by those wanting the change,” said Jefferson County Supervisor Lee Dimmitt.
Morton said it’s a private road, so the subdivision association would pay any costs.
Simons said the 911 addresses have already been changed and the dispatch center notified.
Morton asked him to also inform the fire and ambulance services.