WASHINGTON PARISH COMMUNICATIONS DISTRICT

Minutes for February 1, 2005

 

A regularly scheduled and properly and advertised Washington Parish Communications District Board meeting was held on February1, 2005 , at the E-911 Planning Office located at 1007 Cleveland Street.

Members present were:             Mr. James Coleman                     Chairman

                                                Mr. Mike Stogner                         Vice-Chairman

                                                Mrs. Cynthia August                      Secretary

                                                Mr. Gary Fenner                           Treasurer

                                                Mr. Joshua Bridges

Members absent were:             Mrs. Cynthia August                      Secretary

                                               Mr. Mike Miller

                                               Mr. Jason Verret

Others present were:               Mrs. Joanna Thomas                        Manager

                                               Mr. Kenny Gatewood                     Attorney

                                               Mrs Rachel Marco

Chairman Coleman called the meeting to order at the appointed time of 6:00 p.m.

Mr Gary Fenner opened with prayer and the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States.

ROLL CALL OF BOARD MEMBERS

Mrs. Thomas called the roll. The results of that roll call are recorded above.

Chairman Coleman called for a motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes of January 04, 2005, since they were mailed out to each member prior to this meeting.

Mr. Bridges made the motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes. Mr. Stogner  seconded the motion. Motion passed by a unanimous vote.

Chairman Coleman asked if there were any deletions, corrections or additions to be made to the minutes of January 04, 2005.  Hearing none, Mr. Coleman asked for a motion to accept and approve the minutes as written and mailed out. Mr. Stogner made the motion to accept and approve the minutes as written and mailed out. Mr. Bridges seconded the motion. Motion passed by a unanimous vote.

MANAGERíS REPORT

I have been active during the month of January with both the normal daily operational issues of the office plus supporting our special projects. First, let me report on the daily operational issues:

Operational Issues

All PSAPís have been equipped with their new equipment and the new equipment is working well.  Last week, as part of normal maintenance, Gage Telephone and GeoComm made a visit last week to further tune their systems for improved performance. 

It is expected that the program which we use to run our monthly PSAP reports will be upgraded during the second quarter of this year.

In addition, a copy of our equipment log which records all maintenance assistance requests made to Gage Telephone is attached for your review.  

I have noticed that there have been a number of assistance requests which can easily be taken care of by the dispatcher prior to making a call for maintenance assistance.  There have been ten instances since the first of December for which the solution was either, (1) Reboot the computer, (2) Turn the HLIM back on, (3) Reconnect the speaker, or (4) Use the correct password.  I will be putting together a set of instructions to be followed prior to calling Gage Telephone for assistance, in order to help this situation.

Ms. Marco is doing great job and is working very hard.  Her priority over the next four months is to document the addressing and mapping procedures, address as necessary, and to stream the roads in the Parish outside of Bogalusa and Franklinton.  Rachelís new computer has been installed and is working properly.  Map maintenance software will be installed this month.

Our contract help, Don Skinner, is still streaming the roads in Franklinton and Bogalusa, and completing the roof top location data for these two municipalities.  Franklinton should be finished this weekend.  Bogalusa will require three months to complete.

The accounting system is working well Mr. Fenner and I continue to input the monthly financial data. We are still preparing for our yearly audit and this should be ready in the next couple of weeks.  

We gave out a total of 35 new addresses in the Parish during January and they are:

Franklinton         14                                             

Mt. Hermon        00                                                  

Pine                     06                                                   

Bogalusa             13                                                            

Angie                   01

Varnado               01                                                

Total                    35

Special Projects

During the month of January I assisted GeoComm in their tower location accuracy testing.  Although Centennial was not successful  in their tests, we were able to successfully test the new Verizon tower on Highway 10, Franklinton.

The Franklinton Fire Department has given us permission to use their new training facility in their fire station.  With this in mind, I am proceeding to arrange a Basic APCO course for local dispatchers in the period of August Ė September .   

In addition, following up on the public TDD outreach meeting last year, I have scheduled a basic sign language course for law enforcement, EMS, and Fire Emergency responders.  This course will be taught two hours per night, two nights a week, for three weeks.  Our cost for this will be $ 375.  This cost will pay for the instructor and books for five students. 

As you know, Ms. Johnson made an offer to sell us all the furniture for the amount of $2,000 and after a discussion, she would not lower her offer.  I contacted Venableís and asked them to give us a quote on these items which we would have to purchase if we were to replace them :

 1) Front Office Desk

 2) Two end tables for front lobby like we currently have

 3) A table for the wall in the front lobby

 4) 3 reception area chairs for the front

 5) Conference room table with 10 chairs

 6) A smaller conference room table for the accounting room

 7) A small round work table for the conference room

Their quote for these items totaled $ 2,162.  It is requested that the board consider the two options of either (1) purchasing new furniture, or (2) acquiring the present furniture from Mrs. Johnson for $ 2,000, at tonightís meeting.

This has been an interesting and productive month for our office. I would like to thank the board for their support and inputs.

Mr. Bridges made the motion to pay Mrs. Johnson the $2,000.00 for the furniture. Mr. Stogner seconded the motion. Motion passed by a unanimous vote.

Chairman Coleman asked for questions or comments on the Managerís Report, and hearing none, asked for a motion to accept and approve the report as written. Mr. Bridges made the motion to accept and approve the Managerís Report as written, and Mr. Fenner seconded the motion.  Motion passed by a unanimous vote.

CHAIRMANíS REPORT

PSAP Equipment Modifications

Since all CML equipment is installed, present efforts are directed toward tuning and optimizing it for maximum performance. Many of these issues can be solved by additional training information for the dispatchers as Mrs. Thomas commented on.

Now, lets look at the next step to improve the Washington Parish 911 system.  An important part of the computerized information system to be used by both the present dispatchers and future 911 call takers is a computer program which tracks active incidents, and the assignment of manpower and vehicles to respond to those incidents (calls for help).  This is called CAD, or Computer Aided Dispatch.  While this system usually runs on its own separate computer, it is normally connected to our CML and GeoComm system for data exchange purposes. 

It would normally be expected that this part of the system be installed at the time of starting up a centralized call taking or dispatch facility.  It is essential for information transmission to and from and between our facility and the law enforcement radio dispatchers, and thus, should be common to all agencies.  Bogalusa currently uses this type of system, but Franklinton and the Sheriffís Office do not.

There are two main reasons that the implementation of this next step is of high priority at the present time, (1) Availability of $ 75,000 through the Office of Emergency Preparedness which must be spent by August, and (2) the three law enforcement agencies would like to implement a common, information sharing system.  They see the need for this system and would like it accomplished this year. 

Thus, for these reasons, it appears that 2005 is the appropriate window for this project.  If we donít take the lead on this we will lose the $ 75,000 and miss the opportunity to have a common system.

Thus, I am preparing a joint Washington Parish Communications District / Washington Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness Request for Proposal to allow an examination of the options available and their costs.  Based on the responses, the District will have a better feel for the total costs, and we can make our decisions accordingly.

Map Development

Projected map completion date is projected for the end of May, based on GeoCommís estimates.  We continue to collect the required field data and transmit it appropriately to them.  

This is a joint effort between us and GeoComm and requires that we perform the field work and they revised the dispatch map.  At the conclusion of the project the road locations of all official roads in the parish will have been adjusted and the roof top location of all structures in Franklinton and Bogalusa will have been checked and corrected.  All of this data, when finished, will allow the computer system to electronically plot the location of all calls, both wireless and wireline, for the dispatcher.

The wireless Phase 2 implementation team continues to work with the wireless carriers to manage their implementation efforts. It is hoped that Centennialís two towers will be ready for testing, along with three new Cingular towers, by the end of February.  If this occurs, the single AT&T tower in Bogalusa will be the sole remaining tower to be tested.  There are, at present, 19 cellular towers in Washington Parish. 

The dispatcher mapping system, working in conjunction with our Phase 2 wireless implementation, continues to work well.  

Our 911 web site continues to be updated with technical and additional data of public interest.  I am encouraged by supportive remarks about the information on the web site.  Since our last meeting, the site has been visited by 141 new users with 460 page hits.

In addition, at the request of Jason Verret, I made a presentation to the Bogalusa Rotary Club, on the Past, Present, and Future of 911 in Washington Parish.  All attendees were interested, and were happy to see our progress.  Several recommended that we try again at the polls and that reducing the requested phone fee would help to secure approval.  They preferred a phone charge as opposed to a property tax.

Finally, the APCO Basic dispatcher course and the Sign Language course for emergency responders will do much to improve dispatcher and emergency response in Washington Parish.

As you know, the VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol, system provides unique challenges to every 911 system in the country as well as our District.  VoIP refers to a telephone connected to the internet, not to the normal Bell telephone system. 

There are three issues of particular importance to be aware of : (1) When a subscriberís electric power goes off, the telephone is typically unusable, unlike a normal Bell system telephone, (2) Most consumer VoIP telephone systems deliver the 911 call to a seven digit number without ANI-ALI information, and (3) Most consumer VoIP telephone systems do not collect 911 telephone fees for the 911 districts.

Our agency is making much progress to improve 911 communication services in Washington Parish. 

I would like to thank both the board, Mrs Thomas and her staff for their hard work on the many complex challenges currently facing us.

Mr. Fenner made the motion to proceed with the RFP for the CAD system. Mr. Stogner seconded the motion. Motion passed by a unanimous vote.

Chairman Coleman asked for questions or comments on the Chairmanís Report, and hearing none, asked for a motion to accept and approve the report as written. Mr. Fenner made the motion to accept and approve the Chairmanís Report as written, and Mr. Stogner seconded the motion.  Motion passed by a unanimous vote.

TREASURERíS REPORT

Mr. Fenner reviewed the financial statements beginning with the current assets. He then reviewed the balance sheet, both assets and liabilities, followed by the income and budget statements. He then reviewed the check registration, cash receipts, the account reconciliation statement and the 911 funds statement with cash disbursements.

Mr. Fenner asked if there were any questions or comments regarding any of the financial statements.

Chairman Coleman called for questions or comments on the Treasurerís Report.  Hearing none, Chairman Coleman called for a motion to accept and approve the Treasurerís report, all the financial statements, and the checklist.

Mr. Bridges made the motion to accept and approve the Treasurerís report, all the financial statements, and the checklist.  Mr. Stogner seconded the motion. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

There were no committee reports given.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

There were no comments by the public.

Chairman Coleman called for any additional comments or questions from the members of the board.  Hearing none, he called for a motion to adjourn the meeting.

Mr. Stogner made the motion to adjourn. Mr. Bridges seconded the motion. Motion passed by a unanimous vote.  Meeting adjourned at 7:55 PM.

As recorded by: Mrs. Joanna Thomas.

Approved by:  ___________________________________

                               Mrs. Cynthia August, Secretary