911 Restructure

There's been some stories on some of the blogs about the changes taking place at the Loudon County 911 Center. Here are some of the facts as I understand them.

The problems with several local agencies came to light some time ago when Loudon County Economic Development Agency director, Pat Phillips, decided he wanted to cash out his retirement. Problem was he wasn't eligible for county retirement program. The county as most governments in Tennessee are members of  the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS). TCRS is a defined benefit pension plan that covers state employees, higher education employees, K-12 public school teachers, and employees of political subdivisions who have elected to participate in the plan.

Turns out employees of certain agencies in the county, EDA, Planning, Library and 911 are not considered as county employees. That's because as independent agencies they receive contributions from the county rather than being a department of county government.  Since they are not a county government department, the employees of those agencies would not be eligible for the retirement program.

911 Communications now must either become a department of the county or a stand alone operation with all proper state requirements to be eligible for TCRS. The 911 board is working on their organizational status to qualify for the retirement program. If the reorganization fails to happen 911 could ultimately fall under the management of the county mayor's office as the planning department did.