Dawn Rye| Writer
During last week’s commissioner’s meeting, Sheriff Steven Luke discussed looking into dispatch options.
Luke explained that Lincoln County gets $67,000 a year for contract services and that has been the agreement since 2013. He noted Lincoln County wants Turner County to provide 90 percent of their 911 taxes and charge the county a certain amount per person for a total of $118,000.00 per year. He explained this amount would increase over the next three to five years by three percent each year. After the three-year agreement, it would increase from six dollars per person to $10 per person, totaling $150,000.00 depending on the population.
Luke commented that he has been researching and trying to find options, however, Clay County wants $300,000 for their agreement, which is not feasible for Turner County. He said his plan was to talk with Lincoln County to see if there can be an agreement made instead of doubling the budget.
Luke questioned with his research talking and with other people, what if Turner County would restart their dispatch center? He explained the courthouse already has most of the equipment available with the tower and wiring.
He said after speaking with Moody County, who would be of similar size and call volume, it could be an option. He noted their overall budget for the dispatch center is $207,000.00.
Luke asked for the commissioner’s input on which direction they want to go with.
He noted some options are to accept the increase with Lincoln, restart Turner County dispatch center or join with a similar dispatch center.
“My concern is what if we are the next Lincoln County and 60,000 people start flooding in from Sioux Falls? I think it is a little premature right now, but it is just a thought,” commented Luke.
Sheriff’s offices looking into starting dispatch center