MOUNT VERNON — A lengthy committee meeting on the 9-1-1 consolidation plan flushed out a lot of information, but Mount Vernon City Council members aren’t yet ready to vote on the measure despite being in a general agreement that consolidation of the two dispatch centers is a good idea.
Governmental bodies representing 60 percent of the county’s population must approve the revised plan in order for it to move forward to the Knox County Commissioners. The city of Mount Vernon plays a large role in the outcome of the plan as it represents 16,990 citizens — 46 percent of the total population needed for approval.
Mount Vernon Fire Chief Chris Menapace has been a supporter of the consolidation, and its proposed location at the county’s service center, from the beginning.
“This was a well-thought out, a methodical, driven-by-code language process,” Menapace said.
He explained that the process to evaluate and plan a consolidated 9-1-1 center included committees that were created to evenly represent elected officials, law enforcement and fire/ems.
“The one thing I would like you to note is the equality between the elected officials, the law enforcement community and the fire/ems community. No one committee had more of one discipline than the other. It was equal across the board. Each discipline had a fair and equal vote at the table.”
Menapace also pointed out that the city of Mount Vernon was well represented in every step of the process included Mayor Richard Mavis, Menapace and Police Chief Mike Merrilees, sometimes individually and sometimes collectively.
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