Pulaski moves to switch fire dispatch to sheriff’s office



The Pulaski Town Council meeting began Tuesday night with two presentations, one by PCPC and a presentation about the Christmas Store project, and then the Pulaski Town Council moved on to business.

Old business proved more fruitful for resolution as the two items of business were taken care of quickly near the end of the session.

Pulaski Fire Department Chief Bill Webb asked that the council approve switching town fire department dispatch to the county sheriff’s office. Currently when the fire department goes out on a call, one person has to stay behind to man the phones. Webb asked to have dispatch switched over to the sheriff’s office so that all available firefighters could go out.

Pulaski Fire Department was the only fire department in the county not being dispatched by the sheriff’s office 911 center, but council voted unanimously to allow the transfer,  which Webb said is ready to go May 1, as there will be minimal technical changes needed.

Councilman H.M. Kidd said, “I’m behind you 100 percent. I think it frees us up to do many things we’ve needed to do for years.”

Vice Mayor Joseph Goodman asked, “I think this is an exceptional idea, however, I’ve only heard ‘minimal costs.’ Do we have a ballpark? Under five thousand? Under ten?”

Webb answered, “So far that I’ve seen, all it’s cost us is a fax machine.” This referred to having the sheriff’s office fax the fire department a dispatch report. He pointed out that in extreme emergencies the fire department could take over its own dispatch again to relieve the sheriff’s office of overload.

Goodman replied, “Wow, that’s pretty good.”

After the motion passed, Kidd told Webb, “I want to say you’ve done an excellent job on trying to get all this together.”

In other business, council approved the Chamber of Commerce applying for an ABC license for The Marketplace, which will operate at the train station. The intention is to be able to hold wine and beer tastings and sales there. Council was asked to support and approve of these sales on town property in a motion that passed unanimously.

There was no report to give on the joint tax collection study, though Town Manager John Hawley hopes to have news by the April 16 meeting.

Work is ongoing to see if the town is better served by allowing the county to collect its real estate and personal property taxes as opposed to having the town finance department do so. New River Valley Planning District Commission is assisting in gathering information on joint tax collection.

The planning district commission has suggested dates of April 11 or 12 to perform a study regarding this. Pulaski County Treasurer Melinda Worrell has agreed to participate, according to Town Manager John Hawley.

Goodman asked, “Have we heard anything at all from the county in regards to their plans to put it on an agenda or get it forwarded to the Board?”

“No, I think they’re waiting on the county treasurer to make that decision,” said Hawley. “I think right now the county’s giving the county treasurer an opportunity to review and comment. I don’t think the agreement will be with the county, I think it’ll be with Mrs. Worrell, as treasurer; I don’t know that for a fact yet.”

Council discussed the joint dispatch study, also ongoing, as to whether it would be more financially viable to merge town and county police dispatch and pay the county for dispatch services.

There was no report as of Tuesday night’s meeting.





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