By Taylor Short
Killeen Daily Herald
GATESVILLE - The Coryell County commissioners on Monday discussed a consolidation of emergency call-answering locations and approved more money for a flood plain study for Mound.
Jim Reed, executive director of the Central Texas Council of Governments, spoke to the commissioners about a change in the locations where emergency calls are answered.
For many reasons, Reed said, including the reduced number of landlines in favor of cell phones with free long distance and the governor's recent demand for agencies and higher learning institutions to reduce budgets by 5 percent, emergency 911 system revenues are shrinking.
"A change is coming," he said. "But I just want everybody to be aware that there will not be an interruption in 911 services."
Reed said the process would only change where an emergency call goes and who would answer it.
Currently, there are 10 public safety answering points in the seven adjacent counties - locations where emergency calls are answered and from where responders are dispatched.
While Bell County already consolidated its public safety answering points into one, Coryell, Lampasas, Hamilton, Mills, San Saba and Milam counties are required to upgrade their systems by 2013.
CTCOG is trying to determine locations before ordering the new equipment, which could cost more than $70,000.
Reed said he plans to visit with officials from area cities and counties to get a consensus on one of the three proposed scenarios.
Mound flood plain study
The commissioners approved an additional $1,300 for a flood plain study of Mound by engineer Joe Morrison; homeowners are contesting a recent Federal Emergency Management Agency flood plain map.
FEMA is asking for evidence that the map is inaccurate before agreeing to amend it so residents do not have to purchase flood insurance.
To do so, a professional base flood elevation study of the entire area and an individual study on a single home must be performed, County Attorney Brandon Belt said.
"We had already approved $5,000 towards the hydrology study and this would contribute another $1,300 to get to $6,300," said County Judge John Firth.
Contact Taylor Short at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7476. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcove.