PAYETTE - At its regular meeting on July 6, the Payette City Council addressed a letter penned by Mayor Jeff Williams to the Idaho Public Safety Communications Commission, to endorse a grant application to fund upgrades of Payette County’s 911 system.
The letter reads as follows:
“The City of Payette endorses the FY2021 Dedicated Enhanced Emergency Communication Combined Grant Fee Fund Application submitted by the Payette and Washington County PSAP together to provide an upgrade to their E9-1-1 equipment, software and enhance capabilities to help prepare for NG911. We acknowledge the need for these items and recommend your approval of the grant application. We also recognize that there will be ongoing service and maintenance fees that may not be covered by the grant fees and we will cooperate with the agencies served by the Payette County PSAP and Washington County PSAP to find funding solution to maintain and operate the requested equipment for its life cycle.”
During the meeting, Williams acknowledged that other cities in both counties had already signed their letters of recommendation, and Payette would follow suit.
“I don’t know how quick it will be, this was presented by [Payette County Sheriff’s Lt.] Andy Creech. It’s mostly informative,” said Williams.
The grant application was prepared by Payette County Dispatch supervisor Linda Hoxie, Washington County Sgt. Kim Chipman and Creech. In an email on July 9, Creech said the county’s system is due for an upgrade.
“We are seeking the [Idaho Public Safety Communications Commission] grant funds to offset the cost to our agencies,” said Creech. “The system allows our dispatch centers to back each other up on a daily basis. When a 911 call comes into the dispatch center and is not answered within 30 seconds, it will automatically begin ringing in both [Payette and Washington] counties. These features will ensure that no matter what the emergency is, every 911 call will be answered.”
Creech said the shared 911 system can support up to 96 dispatchers, but only approximately 7% of the system’s capabilities are being used.
“The grant is for $327,362 for the upgrade along with annual maintenance of $23,388 for the first year and $30,588 for the years that follow that,” Creech added. “The total grant proposal is for $473,102.”