Clanton Council discusses 911 funding

Published 10:53 am Tuesday, August 28, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Clanton City Council delayed a vote on increasing funding for Chilton County 911 dispatch during its meeting on Aug. 27.

Council members want more explanation about how the rate for service is determined before approving the new amount, which would increase over the next five years.

Chilton County 911 is a consolidated 911 and dispatches for county and municipal emergency services.

Chilton County 911 director Dan Wright will be at the next City Council meeting to answer questions.

“Our funding is supposed to be based on, not population within the city, but calls,” Mayor Billy Joe Driver said.

Councilman Bobby Cook said based on information from Chilton County 911, the average calls within the city of Clanton has been 31,000 per year.

Thirty-one percent of the Chilton County 911 budget is funded by the city of Clanton

“How do they turn a call into a rate/ fee?” Councilman Jeffery Price asked.

No one present knew.

“I don’t know how they came up with that, that number has been on the books for 20 years,” Clanton Police Chief Keith Maddox said.

Price expressed concern that if the increase is spread out over five years, it will not reflect how population will change over that time. He said another area of the county may have a higher call volume in that time, but still be paying the same amount.

If the request for increase funding is approved, the city of Clanton would be paying about $90,000 for 911 dispatch services.

Maddox said even with the increase, the cost was still less than what it would cost the city to have its own 911 dispatchers.

“If we had our own dispatch, you are talking at least a quarter of a million,” Maddox said.

Also, during the meeting:

  • Chilton/ Clanton Public Library director Savannah Kitchens presented the library’s annual report on services. She compared the number of programs from this fiscal year to the previous fiscal year, highlighting the increase.

“We had a 4 percent increase in our number of visitors, so more people are coming to    the library, which is wonderful,” Kitchens said.

The library received eight grants to supplement the local and state funding it receiveds during this fiscal year.

  • The Council approved paying bills for garbage pickup and a road project on Jackson Avenue.