Boyle County approves 911 agreement with Danville; city expected to do same tomorrow

Published 3:31 pm Thursday, November 30, 2017

Boyle County magistrates have approved an agreement that would finally solidify how 911 service is provided in the county, and it’s likely Danville will sign off on the agreement tomorrow morning as well.

The Boyle County Fiscal Court voted unanimously Thursday morning to approve a 911 service agreement with the City of Danville that accomplishes the following items:

• Boyle County will transfer approximately $750,000 in 911-earmarked funds that it has been holding to Danville as soon as the funds can be reconciled;

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• Boyle County will transfer future 911 funds collected from the state and a local landline fee to Danville on a monthly basis;

• Danville will continue to operate its 911 call center and move forward with a relocation of the center to Danville City Hall, as well as implementation of “emergency medical dispatch” services;

• Boyle County will pay a percentage of the 911 center’s net operating costs based on the population of the unincorporated portions of the county; and

• Danville will provide monthly and annual documentation of 911 spending to Boyle County so Treasurer Mary Conley can prove to auditors that 911-earmarked funds are being spent on qualified expenses.

Conley’s concerns over accounting for 911 funds to auditors was the major hold-up on Tuesday, when the fiscal court first considered the latest version of the service agreement.

On Thursday, Conley said language added to the agreement since Tuesday has largely resolved her concerns. The fiscal court suggested several further minor revisions to the agreement, which Danville City Attorney Stephen Dexter did not object to.

Danville City Manager Ron Scott said Thursday afternoon he anticipated final approval of the revised agreement by Danville City Commission at a special called meeting Friday at 9 a.m.

“I think we will have a brief discussion and approve it tomorrow,” he said. “… We’re delighted that the county has cooperated with the city in doing that.”

Early during Thursday’s fiscal court meeting, it looked like Magistrate Jack Hendricks would be a “no” when it came time to vote on the agreement.

Hendricks said he wanted to see a cap added on Boyle County’s costs so the county could be sure it wouldn’t get unexpectedly high bills from the city.

There are three smaller entities that could also participate in the agreement — Junction City, Perryville and the Boyle County Fire Protection District — but they have not yet approved. Boyle County Judge-Executive Harold McKinney said those entities were waiting for the fiscal court to approve of the agreement before doing the same.

Hendricks noted those smaller entities all have set costs to receive 911 service from Danville — Junction City would pay $7,000; Perryville would pay $750; and the fire district would pay $500 — but Boyle County must pay a percentage of the total net cost, no matter how high that total is.

“We as the county, we have no cap whatsoever. We could be paying $200,000 this year and … two years from now, we could be paying $500,000 and there’s no stopping,” Hendricks said. “I don’t understand why you’re so against a cap. … I just cannot sign a contract that has no limit on what it could (cost).”

Danville City Attorney Stephen Dexter talks to the Boyle County Fiscal Court Thursday morning. (Ben Kleppinger/

Dexter noted Danville and Boyle County “have a joint interest in keeping the costs low.” (Under the agreement, Boyle County would wind up paying about a third of the net operating costs for the 911 center; Danville would pay most of the other two-thirds.)

Dexter said the only reason costs might go up unexpectedly is if the state legislature passes laws that put new requirements on 911 centers, in which case it would be unfair if Danville had to shoulder more than it’s share of a state mandate.

McKinney said he believes there are two “safeguards” against 911 costs rising too much — an “overriding need for everybody to control costs” and the fact that Boyle County will meet with Danville about 911 service prior to the budget being set each year.

“We will have the opportunity to say, ‘we don’t think this is a reasonable cost,'” McKinney told Hendricks. “… I hear you magistrate, but I think we’ve got adequate safeguards.”

Hendricks later questioned why the county needed to be involved in collecting 911-earmarked revenues at all.

“Why don’t we just rescind our (local landline fee) ordinance that was done in 1990, let the city make their own ordinance and let them collect the money, send the money directly to them, and get (Treasurer Conley) out of the picture altogether?” he asked. “There’s no need for use to act in this position as a pass-through.”

Dexter and McKinney said Danville could not create an ordinance placing a tax or fee on people who live outside the city boundaries.

Boyle County Judge-Executive Harold McKinney talks about a 911 service agreement with Danville Thursday morning. (Ben Kleppinger/

“The county can legislate across the county; the city cannot,” McKinney explained. “The city is confined to legislating within the city boundaries.”

Hendricks asked McKinney, Boyle County Attorney Lynne Dean and Conley if they were all OK with the agreement.

“Nobody gets everything they want, but I have to tell you, I think it’s a fair agreement to the parties involved and I would sign it if it was just my single decision,” McKinney said.

“I feel like each side has made concessions. It’s how it’s supposed to be,” Dean said. “… No one gets everything they want. The county has the legal protections that it needs.”

Boyle County Attorney Lynne Dean said she believes a a 911 service agreement with Danville provides sufficient legal protections for the county. (Ben Kleppinger/

Dean noted “there has been talk of litigation” between Danville and Boyle County over the 911 issue, which would lead to a judge telling the two entities what to do.

“Why would we want to go that route if we’re able to get together and decide things on our own terms?”

“I think that’s an extremely good point,” Hendricks said. “We don’t want somebody else making that decision; this group needs to be making that decision.”

Conley also affirmed she’s comfortable with the agreement.

“We’re where we need to be, not only for the auditors but also for the county constituents, so if they come to my office and ask questions, I’ll be able to produce information and substantiate all of our actions on behalf of the dispatch center,” she said.

“I didn’t get everything I wanted either and I don’t agree with a couple of things,” Hendricks said. “But based on the three answers of the people I have a lot of respect for, I will do whatever the rest of this court wants to do.”

Magistrate Phil Sammons literally applauded Hendricks’ statement.

“… Jack put me in shock,” he said.

Magistrates voted unanimously in favor of signing the agreement, then unanimously in favor of transferring all the 911 funds held by Boyle County to Danville after Conley reconciles the accounts.

“It looks like you all are going to get a check in the next few days,” McKinney said to Dexter. “We all didn’t get what we wanted in this agreement, but I’m expecting to get everything that I want for Christmas.”