NATCOM: Ready to tie in

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By Juanice Gray, jgray@natchitochestimes.com

One of the final hurdles for completion of the Natchitoches 911 Communications Center (NATCOM) is connection to sewer and water. Architect George Minturn said Tuesday, May 15 at the commission’s regular meeting the original plans called for a different slope on the sewer lines than what was bored by the City. Different size pipes require different slopes when placed underground. Once it was determined the pipes wouldn’t match up, the City offered to purchase a sewer lift station to alleviate the problem.

The commission introduced a resolution to contribute $5,000 toward the installation. The cost of the station was estimated at $15,000 and is already on site awaiting installation. Minturn said the glass for the building was on site as well and was being installed. “We are closing in the building, painting has begun, most of the ceiling is up and we have permanent power,” he said. “The computer floors should be installed this week.” The commission will soon advertise for bids for the work stations for the center, which will be operational soon.

Director Willis Carter was actively selecting appliances for the center this week. Rebecca Jones provided a financial report that stated the wireless and wireline revenues from 2017 compared to 2018 showed approximately $2,000-$3,000 difference, an amount that could be attributed to dates payments are received from the respective phone companies. Carter said he had met with personnel from the NPSO and NPD IT departments to discuss preparations for operating the new systems. The server should be moved into the NATCOM center mid-to-late July.

“I was assured by the (contractor) supervisor that it will be ready (to move in),” he said. “The new system will be a big improvement.” Carter advised the commission to watch Senate Bill 264, which deals with providing emergency medical dispatch assistance, is creating concern locally.

“I just want you to be aware of it. I feel there is an underlying desire to bring it under the state control. I’m not saying be opposed to the bill or to higher training, but that would take a lot of planning, effort and money.” A 2 percent cost of living raise was approved for commission employee Bernice Wallace.

Commissioners Mary Jones and Chris Paige were absent.