911 call center for Buncombe County and City of Asheville

A new $2.1 million center built to bring together Asheville and Buncombe County emergency dispatchers under roof has opened, but some seats are empty because city and county government officials are at loggerheads over the definition of “console.” The move-in delay means a delay in a hoped-for reduction in emergency response times.

The two governments signed an agreement six years ago in which the county agreed to pay to build and furnish the 911 call center. That agreement also requires the city and county to sign an operating agreement before Asheville Police Department’s dispatchers move in.

But the definition of the word “console” has stalled the move. County officials want to be sure the word is defined narrowly as the piece of furniture at which a dispatcher sits, and not broadly to include the city’s radio infrastructure. The county doesn’t want to be saddled with any costs regarding the city’s radio infrastructure. The difference between the two definitions is “in the millions,” says County Manager Wanda Green.

Click here to see the county’s version of the agreement.

Click here to read an e-mail exchange between County Manager Wanda Green and City Manager Gary Jackson regarding the dispatch center.

Click here to read Green’s briefing of the situation sent to Buncombe County commissioners.

Click here to read the city’s staff report to Asheville City Council regarding the dispatch center.

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