WHEELING - City Council soon will decide if it wants to relinquish control of the Wheeling-Ohio County 911 Communication Center - the only municipally operated 911 center in the state - to Ohio County commissioners.
During their meeting at noon Tuesday at the City-County Building, council members will hear first reading of legislation authorizing City Manager Robert Herron to negotiate with Ohio County commissioners concerning a proposed transfer of authority effective Jan. 1.
A vote on the ordinance would take place Nov. 19.
Wheeling received $500,000 in 911 fees from the county last year but paid $684,000 to operate the center. That means Ohio County taxpayers who live in Wheeling paid $184,000 more to operate the center than those who live outside city limits, despite receiving the same service.
County commissioners also would have to agree to accept control of the center.
The center has dispatched for every law enforcement agency, ambulance service and fire department in the county since 1998, when the Ohio County Sheriff's Department came on board. County officials reimburse Wheeling for running the center with 911 fees they collect from residents' monthly phone bills.
Theresa Russell, director of the 911 center, said previously she didn't believe a transfer of authority would have much impact on the facility's 14 full-time and five part-time employees.
There's one reason center employees may be looking forward to a change in employers, however - Ohio County pays 100 percents of its employees' insurance cost, while Wheeling pays 80 percent.
Also during Tuesday's meeting, City Council will vote on the lease-purchase of six police vehicles from Doan Ford of Belmont, for $175,854. The purchase includes five sedans and one sport utility vehicle, all 2014 models.
A vote to hire Liberty Environmental Services to perform asbestos inspections for the city's Community Development Block Grant building demolition program also is on the agenda.