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New Expenses For Lee County Dispatch Center

Keokuk, IA – Lee County's new consolidated emergency dispatch center is being built inside the county jail. It remains unclear, though, how much it will cost to actually furnish the facility.

There are three emergency dispatch centers in Lee County. They are operated by the Lee County Sheriff's Department, the Keokuk Police Department, and the Fort Madison Police Department.

Sheriff Buck Jones says the current equipment at the three locations needs to be upgraded. "The equipment that all three entities have dates back to 1993," says Jones.

E-911 Board Chairman Dave Murray says it could cost more than $300,000 to purchase new dispatch equipment for the center. That board has about $140,000 available, though no decision has been made as to how that money should be spent.

Murray says state and federal funding could be available for the project. Any additional costs would likely be shared by the county and the cities involved in the consolidated emergency dispatch center.

A special emergency management tax levy will eventually be created. The money generated, though, will be used on employee salaries and benefits.