County says dispatching talks stall

NEBRASKA CITY – Richardson County commissioners said Tuesday that negotiations for a single 911 dispatching service for the county are at a standstill.

Commissioners received a letter from Falls City City Administrator Gary Jorn indicating the city council declines further negotiations regarding countywide dispatching.

At a county board meeting earlier this month, Falls City Police Chief Duane Armbruster said the city and county have different needs for dispatching.

The letter from Jorn says the city council agrees to forming a committee consisting of the police chief, a council person, sheriff and a county commissioner to discuss a public service answering point.

Sheriff Rick Hardesty said Tuesday he would still like to see citizens from Falls City and rural Richardson County on the committee, but Commissioner John Caverzagie said there is no use in forming a committee if the city is not interested in negotiating countywide dispatching.

Caverzagie said the county is facing a $1.5 million upgrade to communications equipment and he believes the city is facing the same sort of upgrade. The county suggested a unified service so that both do incur the costs of upgrades.

Richardson County was one of the last counties in the state to go from basic 911 to enhanced 911. The county made the upgrade when the state’s Public Service Commission gave Richardson County the equipment. The next generation 911 includes features such as text to 911 and video.