County commission approves making E-911 independent
Mary E. Hinds News Herald

Monday evening, the Loudon County Commission voted in favor of making E-911 its own entity with its employees becoming employees of the 911 District. 

The new agency, to be known as the "Loudon County Emergency Communications district" or LCECD, will be an independent agency that receives funds from the county but would no longer be a county department. 

Through this last budget cycle, the agency  has received $725,000 per year from the county but agency officials upon becoming independent have lessened the county contribution to $540,000. 

The agency decided to make the move to independence when it was learned that E-911 employees could have difficulty entering the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement program, the same situation that prompted the Loudon County Economic Development Agency to seek independence from the county as well. 

At an earlier workshop about the agency becoming independent, Loudon County Mayor Doyle Arp told commissioners he feared the new agreement between the county and E-911 could trap the county into a "maintenance of effort" scenario and force the county to give the agency that same amount each year regardless of whether or not the agency has other funding sources. In this case, it would lock the county into giving at least $540,000 to the agency each year.

Monday night, Commissioner Bob Franke moved to grant the agency's request for independence. Commissioner Austin Shaver moved to amend the motion to read that the county would provide funding up to $540,000 to be reviewed on an annual basis.  He said the change would ensure the commission did not "lock ourselves into that dollar amount."

The commission voted to approve the amendment and the motion.