NatCom Center delayed due to weather, holidays


By Juanice Gray
It was business as usual at the 911 Commission meeting Jan. 23. Officers for the upcoming year remain the same as 2017; Chairman is Micky Dove, vice-chairman is Larry Atteridge and secretary is Mary Jones.
One seat on the commission was vacated with the retirement of Fire Chief Crit Miller and filled with his successor, John Wynn.
Rebecca Jones advised the Commission they achieved audit status with the state. The status is based on financials. Those entities under a certain financial balance are reviewed and those above that amount are audited. She said the State implemented new procedures that will require the Commission to have more extensive written policies and procedures. The policies can be adopted as they become relevent to Commission activities.
Director Willis Carter said the ongoing issue with the emergency generator at the courthouse has been resolved. It was repaired, load tested and working as required earlier this month. The generator operates the dispatch center, among other departments, in the Courthouse in the event of power failure.

The Commission adopted a resolution approving an operations strategy to relocate the NPSO and NPD Emergency Call Centers to the new NatCom facility. Stakeholders met in November to discuss sharing of the phone systems and to develop the strategy.
A resolution to establish a Joint Operations Executive Management Committee was tabled to allow additional verbage be added establishing it as a standing, not temporary committee. Members will include Director Willis Carter, Ambulance Director Larry Atteridge, Fire Chief John Wynn, Police Chief Micky Dove and Sheriff Victor Jones. The committee’s decisions will be brought before the entire board for discussion and/or vote.
The Commission also approved Deborah D. Dees, CPA, to conduct an annual review/audit for 2017-19. Estimated cost is $6,000 per year for an audit versus $3,800 for a review.
Architect George Minturn said the last month has slowed progress on the NatCom center. “There hasn’t been a lot of activity due to holidays and weather,” he said. “The temperature has to be 40 degrees and rising for concrete and masonry work.” The roofer is on site and the bricks were delivered he said.

The City of Natchitoches will provide a sewer lift station for the facility.
The delays have pushed the anticipated completion date of mid-March to the middle of April.
Commissioners Dove, Atteridge, M. Jones, Wynn, Rick Nowlin, Chris Paige, Jack McCain and John Nicholas were present. Victor Jones was absent.