County weighs costs of new dispatch center

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Plans to build a centralized emergency dispatch center in Johnson County are drawing concerns from smaller communities worried about how they'll pay their share of the costs.

The county will consolidate five emergency dispatch centers into one by the end of 2014 in the basement of the sheriff's office. The county has to remodel the basement and cover annual operating costs.

The Daily Journal reports county officials want to pay for the center with money already collected in taxes. But officials in communities that don't already have dispatch services say they can't pay for the center without a tax increase.

Johnson County 911 Executive Director Mike Watkins says he favors having communities pay for the center based on the number of 911 calls made from their areas.

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