Winnebago County 911 agreement discussions go public

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Two weeks after discussion on a new 911 agreement was done behind closed doors, Thursday’s meeting is done openly.

Previously, the Winnebago County State’s Attorney advised the Winnebago County Board that 911 conversations should only be done in closed session and out of the public’s eye, due to a lawsuit filed by the Winnebago County Sherriff Gary Caruana.

The City of Loves Park and Villages of Machesney Park and Winnebago had expressed concerns about lack of communication between them and the County on a 911 agreement.

But Thursday, the Public Safety and Operations and Administrative Committees said it was time to get the ball rolling.

Board members decided to create a subcommittee of three members.

That group can then sit down with the municipalities coalition to create 911 agreement all parties can agree on.
    
In an 911 agreement created two months ago,  municipalities agreed to pay an amount for services if they were given governance.

The tentative deal would have provided the county $650,000 a year, board members say that is something they want to take advantage of.

“We’ve already lost out on an opportunity of several hundred thousand dollars from the municipalities that made the coalition,” said Winnebago County board member Keith McDonald. “I think time is of the essence. It’d be great in the next 60 days if we could have an agreement.”

“We need to take our foot off the break and lets get this thing moving forward again,” said Winnebago County board member Aaron Booker. “Lets get this back on the right track and getting this done.”

Five county board members volunteered to be part of the sub-committee.

Public Safety Committee chairman Aaron Booker, Operations and Administrative Committee chairman Keith McDonald, Finance Committee chairman Jaime Salgado, Dorothy Redd and David Boomer were among the members interested.

The final members will be decided on by next Thursday.

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