County approves letter of support for dispatch review

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times
Leavenworth County Courthouse

When they met Wednesday, Leavenworth County commissioners approved a letter of support for an evaluation of 911 dispatching services in the county.

County Commissioner Chad Schimke brought up the idea two weeks ago during a commission meeting. He said the county has a unique redundancy of 911 dispatching services.

The Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office operates dispatching services for many emergency agencies in the county. But the city of Leavenworth operates its own dispatching services through the Leavenworth Police Department.

Dispatchers for the Sheriff’s Office and Leavenworth Police Department work out of the same area of the Justice Center in Leavenworth.

Fort Leavenworth also has its own dispatching services.

During the Dec. 16 meeting, Schimke said he would like for a third party to assess a possible combined county and city dispatching system. He suggested city officials may be more receptive to a letter of support from the entire County Commission rather than a recommendation from one commissioner.

Commissioners unanimously approved a letter of support Wednesday.

The Leavenworth Times requested a copy of the letter but had not received one as of press time.

Schimke said he hopes to meet with the members of the Leavenworth City Commission next week.

County Commissioner Mike Stieben inquired about the potential cost of a study of city and county dispatching services.

“I don’t know the cost without going out for the proposals,” County Administrator Mark Loughry said.

But Loughry said a price of between $60,000 and $100,000 would not be unreasonable. He said the study would be pretty detailed and involved.

If county and city officials agree to such a study, a committee likely would be formed to solicit proposals.

“That proposal would have to come to this board for approval before any money is spent,” Loughry said.

Schimke said the committee would be made up of relevant stakeholders.

County Commissioner Jeff Culbertson said he plans to contact an official with the Mid-America Regional Council regarding the study.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR

In other business

The Leavenworth County Commission:

• Approved a preliminary and final plat for a planned elementary school in the area of Kansas 32 Highway and Stillwell Road.

The school will be part of the Basehor-Linwood system.

Commissioners added a condition that would require the school district to pay for future traffic safety improvements related to the elementary school including traffic signals.

The vote was 4-1. Commissioner Jeff Culbertson voted against it.

Culbertson expressed concern about the new school replacing Linwood Elementary School and the impact this will have on the city of Linwood.

• Approved an interlocal agreement with the city of Tonganoxie regarding main interceptor sewer improvements for the Tonganoxie Business Park. Commissioners previously authorized payment of $1.2 million to help fund the project.

• Approved an extension of an agreement with Wyandotte County. The agreement makes it possible for Wyandotte County to house juvenile offenders for Leavenworth County on as needed basis.

• Approved the transfer of $1.433 million from a county sales tax fund to a capital road fund.

• Voted to authorize Commissioner Jeff Culbertson to engage Drone on Demand for drone services for an Eastern Gateway project for an amount not to exceed $2,000.