Who is Scott County Emergency Management Agency?
The Scott County Emergency Management Agency was created under state law to carry out emergency services at the county and city level. The agency is independent of local governments and follows state laws and regulations set out by the State Emergency Management and Security Divisions.
In 2007, state law was amended to include communication centers as part of the functions that can be provided by the County Emergency Management Agency.
Who is SECC?
The Scott Emergency Communication Center is an authorized agency of the Emergency Management Agency. This distinct organization has a separate board and governing agreement. The agency’s duties are to provide emergency communication services to local public safety agencies. Those services include 911 dispatching and recordkeeping, radio communication and fiber communication between public safety agencies.
Why a separate levy?
The Emergency Management Agency and the Scott Emergency Communication Center are independent authorized agencies that determine their service level and funding. While the County Board Chair is a member of the governing board, the county has no legal authority over the agency or its budget. However, the Board must ensure that all appropriate actions are taken to fund the financial requirements of the agency. The County Library funding has a similar requirement of the Board.
The separate levy allows all taxpayers to pay once for the service. No longer will more than one jurisdiction tax for the service eliminating the pay twice for one service past practice.
Why create SECC?
The agency was created to consolidate three public jurisdiction’s dispatch centers (Bettendorf, Davenport and Scott County) and one nonprofit center (Medic Ambulance). This consolidated center will provide an improved and more reliable 911 dispatching and recordkeeping service. The Center also will provide radios to all the emergency response and public safety agencies in the county and fiber connection for the other Quad Cities dispatch centers. The radio services will be greatly enhanced to include the latest compliant technology with nearly 100% coverage.
When will this service begin?
Actually, the radio system has been deployed to the public safety agencies. The dispatch system is under development with the 22 agencies. The dispatch center is under construction with a start up scheduled for spring of 2011.
If these services were provided in the past through other governments then why a new levy?
All jurisdictions in the County have financially benefitted from the consolidation. Bettendorf, Davenport and Scott County have already transferred employees and equipment to SECC. Each jurisdiction’s governing body determined the savings to their government and determined how those savings should be used.
The Scott County Board reduced its supplemental levy and passed those savings onto their residents.