For 15 years, Macon County Enhanced 911 Board Director Michael Kindle and board member Stan East Jr. have been working with officials from Knox County in attempts to establish a 911 system in Knox County. Unfortunately, available funding mechanisms for smaller counties like Knox would not provide enough funding to establish a full system. But after 15 years of hard work, MCE911 and Knox County Commission have entered a three-year agreement for MCE911 to provide Enhanced 911 Emergency Telephone and dispatch services to the citizens of Knox County.
"We saw this agreement as accomplishing several things," said Kindle. "One, we will be providing an enhanced 911 service to a county that currently does not have it. Two, by charging them a fee it will offset our declining sales tax. Three, it accomplishes our state senators request to consolidate with other counties."
This agreement states that the Knox County Commission will pay a contract fee to MCE911 to provide Enhanced 911 emergency telephone services. According to Kindle, Knox County doesn't have a sales tax base large enough or enough telephones to fund their own system. So by joining with MCE911, Knox County can fund a system that provides them with a service they currently do not have while still helping MCE911 financially.
But have no fear. Macon County citizens will continue to receive the same level of emergency telephone service they have came to expect.
"Based off the call volumes they have given us from previous years, we will be able to handle it with the current staffing levels that we have," said Kindle. "However, if we see that we have become too busy for the two people who are on duty, we have installed a third console we will put a third person at."
Although the agreement has already been made, MCE911 won't start answering Knox County calls for about a year in order to make all the proper installations.
"We are excited not only that we can start providing the enhanced services for Knox County, but we are just excited that we have really killed about three or four birds with one stone," said Kindle