County fails 911 audit

-A A +A

Must improve system, pass second audit to maintain funding

By Sharon Graves

Mapping-system software used by the county to locate cell-phone calls made to 911 is being blamed for the failure of the system to pass a mandatory audit.

The Commercial Mobile Radio Service board notified dispatch supervisor Randy Tharp in October that the system had failed and gave the county 90 days to come up with a plan to make the changes required. The audits are mandated by cell-phone companies that help fund the system. The county must past a second audit or risk losing the funding.

Randy Tharp, supervisor of the county's dispatch center and Carrollton fire chief, said the mapping system is being updated with new software at a cost of $13,000.

"What we have works, but it does not meet the specs of the state. The average person won't notice any change."

The county failed one of three components tested, incorrectly plotting the location of cell-phone calls to 911 made from random locations. The system must be correct 90 percent of the time to pass; the Carroll County system was correct only 30 percent of the time.

Once the changes are completed, the county will be re-audited.

County Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson reiterated that the system has always worked, and the public should feel confident when calling 911.

Funding of trail project debated

Funding questions about the new trails project that could eventually connect Point Park, General Butler State Resort Park and the Robert Westrick Memorial Park were answered to the satisfaction of Fiscal Court in a recent public hearing.

The hearing was prior to the regularly scheduled Fiscal Court meeting Tuesday, Jan. 13. Magistrates, Floyd Bowling, Dean Miller and Mark Bates quizzed Joan Moore, executive director of the Carroll County Community Development Corporation, hoping to clear up many of the questions about how the project is to be funded.

The project’s first phase will open up the abandoned part of Lock Road that will connect General Butler State Park with Point Park. The total cost of the project is $131,000, and many foundations, agencies, and city and county governments are working together to fund the project.  

The initial phase includes $20,000 to develop a master plan that would be used to apply for additional state and federal funding to connect all three parks using trails and a canoe and kayak route, down the Kentucky River to Point Park.

The first phase is a matching grant and Moore explained that if they aren’t awarded this grant for $131,000, then there will be no need for a master plan.  The county must raise $65,500 for their share of the match and all but $16,000 has been pledged.

In past meetings, questions have been raised about spending $20,000 for a master plan for a grant that might not be awarded.  “If we don’t get the grant, the project is dead and we won’t be out any money?” Bates questioned.  

“That’s correct,” Moore said.

“Then I can support it,” Bates said.  Bates has questioned using $20,000 to develop a plan previously, and even though there was no one from the public present Bates said, “this meeting has been very helpful to me.”

Leaky roof

The Administrative Office of the Courts, the arm of state government that is responsible for district and circuit courts, contacted Fiscal Court about a leaky roof at the William Wheeler Hall of Justice on Clay Street. The AOC wants a re-roofing project bid for a second time for the court building.  

The Carroll County Regional Detention Center  and the courthouse are connected, and bids were let to re-roof both portions of the complex last year. The AOC opted out of that re-roofing project originally, but the jail went ahead with its portion of the project.

The magistrates voted to receive bids on re-roofing for the courthouse section of the building.

Volunteer fire

departments audited

Fiscal Court has required that volunteer fire departments receiving money from  county coffers present an audit showing how their money was spent.  

“We have a CPA here in town that was in agreement to do the financials and give us some kind of accountability,” Tomlinson said.

A full-blown audit is expensive, and Tomlinson said Westside Volunteer Fire Department has submitted an abbreviated audit by Raisor, Zapp and Woods, a local CPA firm, and requested $30,000 for its annual allotment from the county. Worthville Volunteer Fire Department submitted a financial statement that gave a brief accounting of the expenditure of funds, and also requested $30,000.

“That’s not an audit,” Miller said about both reports received.  

“Basically, it is,” Tomlinson countered, regarding the Westside report.   

“That’s a financial statement,” Miller said.  “I don’t care if we don’t ask for anything.”

Bates asked if Raisor had prepared the Worthville statement and Tomlinson replied they hadn’t.

“If they want us to contribute, then we should ask them to go ahead [with an audit] just like we’ve asked everybody else,” Tomlinson said about the Worthville financial statement. “I’m not saying we’re not going to give it [the money] to them, but I just think we need a little bit more accountability.”

Tomlinson said information from the Sanders Volunteer Fire Department will be forthcoming, as the department’s audit is tied in with the city of Sanders. He recommended the court release the funds to Westside, and arrange for more discussion with the Worthville department.