Skip to content

Board hears reports

St. Francois County 911 Communications Director Alan Wells started off the regular meeting of the Leadwood Board of Alderpersons Monday night with an update on the county’s plans for expanding the 911 dispatch center.

He reminded everyone present that the original 2,200 square feet 911 center was built in 1992 in Park Hills and opened in May of 1993. Since that time, the county’s population has grown significantly and the building has been outpaced by current technology. Wells said once the new addition is completed, tentatively scheduled for November, it will be the new home for the 911 center, while renovation of the existing facility — phase two, which is expected to be completed by next March — will be used as the Emergency Operating Center.

Wells described numerous planned features of the new 911 system and communications center, including updated technology, training for staff and the building itself, showing the board the architectural drawings he brought along with him.

Wells said it’s costing about $250,000 just to upgrade the communications infrastructure, but with the new system, communications with first responders will be much improved and will better equip them to deal with the multitude of calls received every day.

“We average about 320 to 330 911 calls per day,” he said, “so that’s a lot of calls to keep up with and track and monitor … The 911 system is so crucial because this is what your citizens are paying for … The 911 system itself was antiquated, so it is a crucial component that we must improve on and upgrade. It’s very expensive but we also must meet the needs of our citizens for the future.”

He said the original 911 system was based on a landline system, but now that the world has gone wireless, it’s vital to stay up-to-date with modern technology.

Wells said the new facility is expected to meet the needs of the community for the next 25 to 30 years.

Moving forward with the agenda, Mayor Dennis Parks reported that he expects to have a detailed update on the ongoing water and sewer system project by the next meeting. He also briefly mentioned the upcoming election on April 4 and that all of the candidates up for election are running unopposed.

Next, the board voted in favor of applying for a Sam’s Club card to purchase basic cleaning and other supplies; to set the date for a citywide yard sale on May 6; and to approve two business license applications.

Moving on to the street department, Alderman John Vickers wanted to clarify that the citywide cleanup day is only for bulk items that do not fit into trash cans and it is not for regular trash. The date for the cleanup will be set at the next regular public meeting.

In police department business, the board voted in favor of having the police chief research the cost of adding police department lettering and insignia to the city’s police truck, which has remained unmarked since it was purchased early last year.

Board members also discussed the purchase of Office of State Court Administrator (OSCA)-compliant software for the city’s municipal court computer system. The current system is out-of-date, as is the computer, and is not in compliance with state guidelines. Parks noted that the issue first needs to be discussed with the municipal judge and that the purchase of such software has not been budgeted so it cannot be purchased this budget year. The board voted to table any decision until a meeting with the judge can be scheduled. A work session will then be scheduled to work out the details in order to appropriately plan for the next budget.

In parks department business, the board voted to waive the fee for Our American Hero Foundation to use the city park for a fundraising event on July 15. Parks then announced the dates for several upcoming events, including the annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 15, the Christmas Angels Side-by-Side Poker Run on April 29, the Fall Festival Sept. 15-17 and the Blue Grass Festival on Oct. 7.

Alderman Charlie Lewis then announced that two park benches built by Director of Public Works Kevin Brooks have been added to the city park and that city employees have heard positive comments from residents. The addition of several more benches is planned.

“Eventually there will be 11 benches total,” said Alderman David Henry. “And it’s costing the city less than $700.”

Brooks also announced that Sarah Moyers’ family donated the cost of one of the park benches and planted a Thundercloud Red Leaf Plum tree in the park in memory of Greg and Sarah Moyers, who were killed in an automobile accident last September.

The next regular meeting was scheduled for May 2 at 6 p.m. at the Leadwood fire house. 

Members of the Leadwood Board of Alderpersons hear about the plans for the expansion of the St. Francois County 911 Dispatch Center. 

Members of the Leadwood Board of Alderpersons hear about the plans for the expansion of the St. Francois County 911 Dispatch Center. 

St. Francois County 911 Communications Director Alan Wells describes the county’s plans for an expanded emergency dispatch center during the meeting of the Leadwood Board of Alderpersons on Monday. 

St. Francois County 911 Communications Director Alan Wells describes the county’s plans for an expanded emergency dispatch center during the meeting of the Leadwood Board of Alderpersons on Monday. 

Amy Patterson is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3616 or apatterson@dailyjournalonline.com.

Leave a Comment