Pembroke Council Postponed Inter-Agreement E-911 Resolution, Honoring West Robeson Team

Pembroke – After a lengthy and sometimes emotional discussion, members of the Council here this week decided to postpone making a decision on entering into an E-911 interstate agreement with Robeson County.

Chad Dess, Robson County 911 Administrator, spoke to the council about a draft three-year agreement before the council that would give the county’s E-911 center the authority to send all 9-1-1 calls for an annual fee of $15 per Pembroke resident, which It equals about $43,000.

“We’re here because, for years, we’ve been providing this service to the city without a deal,” Dess said. “For years, we’ve answered and taken all 9-1-1 calls from the town of Pembroke.”

Currently, when the county center receives 9-1-1 calls from Pembroke, the county holds EMS calls and dispatches rescue departments, but 911 calls that require shooting or law enforcement assistance are diverted back to an in-city administrative line for dispatch.

This is the county’s responsibility, Des said.

Responsibility rests with the 9-1-1 call [having been] Answered by 911 Center Stage 2 forensic. We are transferring this call, the call data, everything, to an administrative line which is a lower level line that does not carry the guarantees that a 9-1-1 line does,” Dess said. We have to because we got over it.”

“That was the primary purpose of this, to get something in writing to discuss what we’re doing, we’re doing it between each other, the agencies agree and that’s where we’re at right now,” Dies added. “Obviously, at this point, it became a bit more. There was some confusion about how we went here.”

Councilman Theresa Locklear has expressed concern about the city entering into a three-year contract, but City Manager Tyler Thomas said the agreement offered is a first look and the length of the term could be reassessed.

However, Leclerc had other concerns.

“How many 9-1-1 calls do you get each week?” Locklear said.

“I haven’t done research on it. I can’t give you that data,” said Dess.

Township Fire Chief Ryan Locklear and Captain Michael Locklear have both expressed concerns about the agreement, chief among them a lack of communication and a lack of updated equipment needed to move transmissions to the 9-1-1 center.

“It’s going to be really confusing in terms of fire,” Ryan Leclerc said. “This would require the city to have two different communication devices.”

“One of my biggest fears is to confuse my members. I’m afraid we will miss the calls.”

As of Tuesday, Michael Leclerc, speaking on behalf of other department firefighters, said members had not seen the agreement.

Michael Leclerc added: “We have not seen this agreement and it affects us directly because we are the ones who will be sent.”

“I specifically asked the 911 manager to have a conversation with the fire chief about this agreement,” Thomas said. “What I understood is that there are no reservations. If so, I did not receive a phone call regarding reservations made.”

The council decided to give township employees more time to discuss the agreement before making a decision.

“There’s no way we can make a decision on this tonight… Next time I’m in a meeting and this is brought up, it’s going to be voted on, so we need to get this stuff right,” Sampson said. “I’m getting messages thinking we’re getting rid of our message so I don’t know how the misinformation got there.”

Follow up on grant funding

In other work, the board agreed to adopt two capital improvement plans, a measure that would make the city more competitive when seeking a grant from the North Carolina Environmental Quality Administration, according to Thomas.

“You will get additional points under your scholarship application if you have an approved CIP,” he said.

One was a capital improvement plan for the water system and the other was a draft of a storm water capital improvement plan.

After approving the plans, the Board made three decisions to pursue grant funding in the fall cycle for three separate projects.

The first is to pursue up to $1.7 million in grants to fund the city’s water improvement and well treatment centers.

The town council also gave the green light to pursue grant funding for “the final design phase, allowing flood mitigation construction to mitigate significant flooding in Pembroke Town by transporting rainwater downstream, increasing flow and improving water quality;” and “Hire a consultant to assist the city in developing a stormwater management plan, carrying out an asset inventory and assessing the condition.”

in other news, The The Board has scheduled a public hearing for its October 3 meeting to consider an application for the voluntary annexation of a parcel of land in NC 711. M&M Pemroke Investments is the applicant.

Council members also took the time to present pins and certificates to members of the West Robeson main team, who finished second in the Dixie Youth World Series held in Lumberton this year.

“On behalf of the city, it is an honor and a privilege to present to you guys these testimonials,” Sampson said. “To show the fighting and the will that the guys did after the first game… to get past that second game, to fight and get past that, that was amazing. It was fantastic. It starts with the coaches.”

The city received the second place award in addition to the third place award from the previous year.

Tomeka Sinclair can be reached at [email protected] or 910-416-5865.