Centralized Dispatch earns nod from Commissioners


By LPR Staff

The Caldwell County Commissioners Court put their stamp of approval on a tentative plan for a centralized dispatch station on Monday.
The idea, currently a joint project between Caldwell County and the City of Lockhart, would join forces between the county’s nine dipatchers and the city’s eight.
“We’ve all

come to the realization that we have to do more with less,” said Commissioner Tom Bonn, who is heading up the project on behalf of the county. “We have to combine our resources to save some revenues.”
Bonn estimated an immediate equipment savings of over $100,000 if the dispatching stations combine.
Still in the planning phase, a centralized dispatch department would be led by an independent board. Both the City of Lockhart and Caldwell County would, however, have representatives on the board.
At this time, although they have been invited to do so, the City of Luling is not interested in participating in the project. However, that could change at any time and Luling could participate.
Darla Law, the coordinator for Caldwell County’s 9-1-1 department, is in full support of the project.
In other Court business:
The commissioners heard information from Emergency Management Coordinator Lynn Parker regarding federal standards for emergency training.
“In the future, it’s likely that all grant money is going to be tied to training,” Parker said. “That means that all first-responders in major situations, all county officials, including the commissioners, are going to [need] this emergency training.”
The judge and the commissioners will take part in a training seminar on Sept. 19.
Caldwell County taxpayers may see an increase in their taxes from 0.5992 per $100 to 0.6297 per $100 of valuation in the next tax year.
The court will hold public hearings at 9 a.m. on Aug. 29 and Sept. 8 to discuss the rate before a final vote. However, County Judge H.T. Wright expressed discomfort with the rate.
“I’m uneasy with the numbers that we’ve received from the appraisal district,” Wright said. “They’ve sent us numbers three times, and we’ve sent them back three times. This last set, which is the last set we’ll get, is the most reasonable we’ve seen, but I’m still not confident with them.”
Concern stems from the fact that the proposed rate is 0.0001 less than the rollback rate of 0.6298 per $100. If tax rates exceed the rollback rate, the county could be put in the position of having to make refunds to every taxpayer.
Budget talks will continue through the coming weeks, as the County struggles to balance one of the tightest budgets in recent history.


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