911 Board Fills Vacancy
Wed, 08/05/2020 - 11:20am admin
Jennifer Pierce, contributing writer
The Board of Directors of the Howell County 911 department installed a new member, Robert Holt, on July 29 at the Howell County office building in West Plains. Board members voted unanimously to approve Holt as a representative for the Southern District. Holt took the oath of office and joined the meeting discussion. The new board member is originally from the West Plains area. Following a 29-year military career, he returned to West Plains to retire. Although he is no longer working full time, Holt commented that he is “busier now than ever.” He explained that his “military experience in communications and computer science will help in serving on the board.” Holt retired from his Army career after serving at international bases and at bases in Hawaii and Alaska. Holt replaces former board member, Verlon Bunch.
After his appointment, Holt joined current board members: Steve Gleghorn, Terry Newton, Nick Heavrin, and Andy Ingalsbe, as they discussed recent and upcoming concerns. Steve Gleghorn reported on a new revenue stream for the 911 department. This income resulted from a House bill passed last year that designates 45% of prepaid phone taxes collected in the county to be allocated for the 911 department. Board members discussed the need for a part time position in the call center to relieve employee overtime.
The board of directors consulted on upgrades to the communications network. Gleghorn said conversion of the software system is scheduled for September. The changes include improvements in regional mapping, updating, and increased storage. Members confirmed the upcoming August 12 meeting at Shetler’s in Mountain Grove. The Howell County and the Wright County 911 departments will meet concurrently with a representative from Solacom to consider upgrading hardware for both counties’ 911 service needs. The two counties partner in 911 services and plan to work together to bring this new system online. The system upgrade will help with flood, disaster, and general 911 services. Gleghorn stated that the county boards will work together in their decision to choose a supplier for the hardware improvements.