Minutes for November 9, 2004

A regularly scheduled and properly and advertised Washington Parish Communications District Board meeting was held on November 09, 2004, at the E-911 Planning Office located at 1007 Cleveland Street.

Members present were:       Mr. James Coleman                    Chairman

                                 Mr. Gary Fenner                         Treasurer

                                            Mr. Mike Stogner                       Vice-Chairman

                                 Mrs. Cynthia August                    Secretary

                                            Mr. Joshua Bridges

                                            Mr. Mike Miller

                                            Mr. Jason Verret

Members absent were:          Mr. Mike Miller

                                             Mr. Jason Verret

Others present were:             Mrs. Joanna Thomas                        Manager

                                            Mr. Kenny Gatewood                      Attorney

                                             Mr. Ron Bloom                               GeoComm

                                             Ms. Marty Bausano                        GeoComm

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

Mrs. August opened with prayer and the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States.


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 October 5, 2004, since they were mailed out to each member prior to this meeting.

Mr. Stogner made the motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes. Mrs. August 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 October 5, 2004.  Mr. Bridges made the motion to accept and approve the minutes as written and mailed out. Mr. Stogner seconded the motion. Motion passed by a unanimous vote.

Mangerís Report

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

All PSAPís have been equipped with their new equipment and the new equipment is working well.  Last week during the bad weather we experienced a lighting strike at the Bogalusa Police Department.  Brett with Gage telephone was notified within approximately 10 minutes and he was here within approximately 2 hours of the call to make repairs to our equipment.  Additional damage was noted to the Bell telephone circuits, and it took another day for them to complete their repairs.  During this entire time, Bogalusa was never without service, since only one of their two positions was affected.

I go over to the Sheriffís Department on almost a daily basis to check on the performance of our system. There have been no equipment performance issues other than those noted above. There was a call from a FAX machine that came through our 911 system and the dispatcher was unsure if it was a TDD call.  Remembering the training that we have provide for the dispatchers, he immediately did a call back from our TDD to verify what type of call it was. It was not a TDD call. When we heard about this, Jim  Coleman and I both called the dispatcher to compliment him on his quick thinking and his knowledge of the equipment and what to do in that type of situation.

As most of you know Ms. Culpepper has turned in her two week notice. Ms. Culpepper stated that she wants to stay at home and not work anymore. She is leaving on good terms and has agreed to stay until the hiring of her replacement.  She will stay and train the new person.

We are utilizing the Louisiana Works office in Bogalusa to screen and test potential employees.  As of yesterday there were approximately 18 total applicants, thirteen of which have been recommended for testing.  Testing is being administered today in Bogalusa utilizing three tests.  These tests are English, Math, and Mapping Knowledge.

I have scheduled these thirteen applicants into our office next week for their typing and spread sheet test.  During this time, I will answer any questions that they may have concerning our agency and the open position.  I should have their information packets ready for the personnel committee  to review by Monday, November 22.   I would suggest that the committee meet during that week to review the applicants and to chose a smaller number to interview during the week of  November 29.  This will give the committee sufficient time to make their recommendation to the board at the meeting on December 7.

The accounting system is working well Mr. Fenner and I continue to input the monthly financial data.

Weíve given out a total of 3 new addresses in the Parish and they are:

Franklinton                2                                              

Mt. Hermon              0                                                       

Pine                           0                                                        

Bogalusa                    1                                                                 

Angie                         0                                                     

Total                           3  

During the week of October 11 we installed our digital mapping system and presented two map system classes to the dispatchers and one make up TDD class to the dispatchers. 

In addition, on October 27th we hosted an open house here at our office.  Representatives of all our police agencies and one ambulance service were in attendance to discuss efforts to improve 911 services to hearing and speech impaired citizens.  Valerie Patterson from the Deaf Action Center of the Northshore facilitated communications.  Four representatives of the deaf community attended.  All agreed that the meeting was beneficial.  Mr. Fenner attended this meeting and may wish to make additional comments.

The implementation of our cell phone location system continues on schedule.  On October 25th Verizon was tested with good results.  Their system tested within 16 feet of the actual location of the caller.  Today we are testing Cingular and tomorrow we will be testing Nextell and AT&T. 

On October 31 and November 1, we performed our required TDD test calls to our PSAPís.  These test calls identified some areas for potential improvements by the PSAPís, and Mr. Coleman will review this with you.

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

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 Mrs. August seconded the motion.  Motion passed by a unanimous vote.


PSAP Equipment Modifications

The Franklinton Police Departmentís new building will be placed into operation on Monday. Our equipment installation has been completed and tested. All is ready for the cut over.  Once their new building is up and running, the CML equipment being utilized in their old building will be placed in maintenance spares.

As you remember from a previous report the Franklinton Police Department 911 recorder has been destroyed by lightening.  They have decided to purchase and install the same recorder that we use in their new facility.  This further confirms the choice of equipment that we originally made.

Other Issues

As Mrs. Thomas mentioned, additional training has been given to employees of all law enforcement agencies and our first outreach meeting for the hearing and speech impaired has been accomplished.  During this outreach meeting, the hearing impaired attendees requested that the following be accomplished :

Those in attendance agreed to accomplish these goals.  The Deaf Information and Identification card has been developed and is ready for printing.  An American Sign Language course will be coordinated by the Communications District in the spring of  2005 and a follow up outreach meeting will be held in the summer of next year.  I have attached a copy of the card for your review.  The language on the card was developed by the Deaf Action Center and will be distributed by them.  We will print and laminate the cards.

Our recent accomplishments as related to our new TDD system was highlighted in a recent newspaper article which I have attached for your review.

We have completed our monthly PSAP report to all agencies, and I have a copy for your review. I call your attention to the further improvement in 911 Ring Time.  This has been a major benefit of our new system and this accomplishment was highlighted in recent newspaper articles which I have also attached to this report.

We have completed our quarterly TDD test calls to the agencies, and I have a copy of the report for your review.  The test resulted in three observations and associated Corrective Actions for the agencies.

The accomplishment of the quarterly TDD test calls and the outreach meeting, completes our 90 day requirements under the Settlement Agreement.  Accordingly, our initial report of accomplishments will be prepared this week for submission to the government.

At our last meeting, it was the consensus of the board to make certain Ďbasic levelĒ dispatcher courses available to the law enforcement dispatchers in Washington Parish.  Accordingly, I have determined that we can sponsor a public, basic dispatcher course by APCO, at a facility of our choice, and if 18 people register, APCO will provide an instructor. 

Cost to us would be $250 per person for those that we sponsor. In addition, we would be given one free student slot.  I suggest that we proceed to schedule and coordinate such a course in 2005 .

It is my understanding that our office building is under contract to be sold to certain interests in New Orleans with ties to Washington Parish, with closing to be held in a few weeks.  It is also my understanding that the new owners wish to have us stay here.  Accordingly, I suggest that Kenny establish communications with the new owners at the appropriate time to negotiate a new lease.  It is also my understanding that the new owners will repair the heating system..

Tonightís agenda includes the re-nomination to the parish president of three board members whose terms expire at the end of the year :  Mike Miller, Mike Stogner, and Jim Coleman.

Tonightís agenda also includes a review of possible alternatives for the annual Christmas meeting.

The following summarizes the progress of our various special projects:

Map Development

Map development continues forward.  The first issue of the map has been placed in operation with the dispatchers.  Our target to finish the map is February, 2005, but this target may have to be extended by thirty to forty five days to compensate for our new employeeís learning curve. It is suggested that temporary help, either voluntary or paid, be put in place on the weekends to compensate for this reduction in data gathering efficiency.

Phase 2 Wireless Implementation

The wireless Phase 2 implementation team continues to work with the carriers to manage their implementation efforts.  Verizon has been brought on line with exceptional accuracy of data.  Today we are testing Cingular, and tomorrow we will be testing Nextel and AT&T. This will leave an additional two carriers to be tested by the end of the year. I have asked Ron Bloom and Marty Bausano from GeoComm to give us a brief review of this process a little later tonight.

Dispatcher Mapping

The required software has been installed and has caused considerable interest by all dispatchers.  They can already see the benefit of this tool, even at this point in the implementation.

Wide Area Network

Installation of this system is complete, tested, and is in operation.

Public 911 Education

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 inception it has been visited by 500 users and has had 3,000 page hits.


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

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

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. Stogner made the motion to accept and approve the Chairmanís Report as written, and Mr. bridges seconded the motion.  Motion passed by a unanimous vote.


Mrs. August made the motion to accept Ms. Culpepperís resignation as of October 26, 2004, but considering the time it will take to replace her it was also made in the motion to ask Ms.Culpepper if she would be willing to stay on until we hire the replacement and that person can be trained, with a target date of December 31, 2004, or earlier. Mr. Bridges seconded the motion. Motion passed by a unanimous vote.

Mr. Bridges made the motion that we obtain temporary local services to keep the mapping project on schedule, during the transition to a new permanent employee, for no more than 12 hours per week, at a cost of $7 per hour.  Mr. Stogner seconded the motion.  Motion passed by a unanimous vote.

Chairman Coleman informed the board that he, Mike Miller, and Mike Stogner would be honored to serve an additional four year term if the board so wishes. Fenner made the motion to nominate Mr. Coleman, Mr. Miller, and Mr. Stogner for renewal of their four year terms. Mr. Bridges seconded the motion.  Motion passed by a unanimous vote.

Following a discussion of the possible location of our annual Christmas season social gathering, it was the consensus of the board to gather at Mr. Stognerís house on the evening of December 16th for fellowship and refreshments.

Chairman Coleman asked the board to consider the sponsoring of a 40 hour APCO Basic Telecommunicatorís course to be taught in Franklinton.  If a minimum of 18 students sign up, the course would be taught by an APCO instructor. 

Mr. Bridges made the motion to sponsor the APCO course and to send a maximum of six local dispatchers to the course.  Mr. Stogner seconded the motion.  Motion passed by a unanimous vote.


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. Mr. Fenner 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.

Mr. Fenner then reviewed a fixed asset worksheet and recommended that the district retire worn out, non-working and abandoned fixed assets so noted on the worksheet, with an original cost of $ 77,000.  Mr. Stogner made the motion to retire these fixed assets and remove them from our inventory list.  Mr. Bridges seconded the motion.  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

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. 

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


There were no committee reports given.


Mr. Ron Bloom and Ms. Marty Bausano, of GeoComm, Inc. made a presentation on the progress of the Washington Parish mapping project and wireless Phase 1 and 2 project  There were no other public comments.

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. Miller made the motion to adjourn. Mr. Stogner seconded the motion. Motion passed by a unanimous vote.  Meeting adjourned at 7:30 PM.

As recorded by: Mrs. Joanna Thomas.

Approved by:  ___________________________________

                               Mrs. Cynthia August, Secretary