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Wheeling considers giving up control of 911 center

Updated: Tuesday, November 5 2013, 09:10 PM EST

By: NEWS9 and Jon Rudder

Wheeling City Council is considering relinquishing control of its 911 center by the end of the year.

On Tuesday, council approved legislation to allow the city manager to negotiate an agreement with Ohio County commissioners about transferring the 911 center to the County Commission.

Wheeling has operated the 911 Communication Center for all of Ohio County since 1998, and is the only city in the state to do so. But, last year's operating expenses exceeded revenues so the city was looking for a way to cut costs.

"Last year our 911 revenues were about $500,000 and the cost of 911 operations -- just operations -- was about $689,000," City Manager Robert Herron said.

Herron said a transfer to county commissioners would better serve the center and because the commission has can provide funding necessary to run the operation. He said that would be accomplished through "a fee that's collected by county commissions in West Virginia on landlines and cellphones and distributed to county commissions. So they have the ability to collect and set the fees for 911 communications in West Virginia."

Herron said he doesn't anticipate any changes in terms of service or for the employees. He said there are still some details that need to be ironed out, but he is working closely with commissioners and expects the transition to go smoothly.

"We've had a number of meetings with the county administrator, the sheriff, emergency services on the county side, with our police chief, fire chief, etc. We're at a point now where we've worked out the details as to equipment, operations etc.," he said.

The complete transfer is expected to go into effect on Jan. 1.

Wheeling considers giving up control of 911 center

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