Up & Coming Weekly

November 07, 2017

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 8 of 36

8 UCW NOVEMBER 8 - 14, 2017 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM NEWS At a recent meeting, Cumberland County Commissioners indicated they were prepared to settle an issue that has confounded Fayetteville City Council for weeks. Commission Chair- man Glenn Adams said at a meeting of the joint 911 Task Force that the county had agreed to let the city operate the planned $30 million center. But, the financial formula was changed by county officials when they agreed to let the city run the facility. Deputy City Manager Kristoff Bauer and Assistant County Manager Tracy Jackson have been the princi- ple negotiators. Bauer said Jackson's position is constrained by the board of commissioners. "We do a disservice to the citizens of our community if we don't move this thing forward," Adams said. Commis- sioners want funding percentages for the center's operation to be based on the pro rata share of population be- tween the city and county. All parties agree it comes down to a 64/36 popula- tion split with Fayetteville shouldering the larger share. "This is as close as it's ever been," said Cit y Manager Doug Hewett, referring to the back and forth be- tween agencies. The details are contained in a 16- page interlocal agreement that the jurisdictions have yet to agree on. The agencies aren't far apart on percent- ages of operational expenses. But a city council subcommittee continues to propose that the cost of construc- tion be based on calls for emergency services, not the formula the county has proposed. An acceptable formula the council subcommittee agreed to would cost the city $7.8 million with the county's share being $5.2 million. "We're bending over for that," Committee Chairman Bobby Hurst said. "We could play hardball, but we can iron this out with the count y," he added. The subcommittee, comprised of Hurst, Councilwoman Kathy Jensen and Mayor Nat Robertson, voted 3-0 in favor of both funding formulas. The local governing bodies hope the State 911 Board of Directors will award local government $15 million toward construction of the communications center, which would be built on city- owned property off Fields Road. There are still some ambiguities in the proposed agreement, noted Bauer, such as the structure of the commu- nications center's advisory governing board. However, all parties are in agreement that the city and county managers would have final responsi- bility for decision-making. A grant application to the state for partial construction funding must be submitted by the city of Fayetteville no later than Dec. 15. An applica- tion submitted two months ago was turned down because the agreement outlining which local government would be the lead entity was not in- cluded in the application. In counties where joint centers have been estab- lished, such as Wake and Guilford, the cities of Raleigh and Greensboro were designated as the lead agencies with operational responsibility. City to operate new 911 center by JEFF THOMPSON A $15 million grant application submitted two months ago to the North Carolina 911 Board was turned down because an agreement outlining which local government would be the lead entity was not included in the application. JEFF THOMPSON, Senior News Reporter. COMMENTS? news@ upandcomingweekly.com. (910) 484-6200. Of Cumberland County www.kidsvillenews.com/ cumberland Improve Reading, Enhance Comprehension, Build Vocabulary, Encourage Curiosity, Broaden Horizons Ask Questions, Answer Questions, Inspire Goals & Reach 81,400 Teachers, Parents & Children Every Month? Call for more information 484-6200

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