County Approves Plans To Replace 911 Phone System

Worcester County Commissioners briefly considered a new 911 phone system, grant
applications for local homeless shelters, and other topics at their meeting
this week.

— Worcester County
Emergency Services will use $1.4 million in state emergency funding to replace
its 911 emergency telephone system.

A few weeks ago, the
state Emergency Number Systems Board (ENSB) approved the funding request.

The system must be replaced,
said Emergency Services Director Teresa Owen, because the manufacturer of the
current system will no longer support the current equipment in 2011.

The money comes from 25
cents of the $1 911 fee on each phone account in Worcester County, Owens said.

County Emergency
Services will also replace call recorders at secondary call locations, the
Berlin Police Department, the Pocomoke City Police Department, and the Ocean
Pines Police Department. That work will also be funded through the ENSB.

“It would cost more to
upgrade them than it would to replace them,” Owens said.

— Both homeless
shelters in Worcester County cited the increasing number of requests for
service in applications for state grant money.

Samaritan Shelter in
Pocomoke and Diakonia in West Ocean City are each requesting $25,000 from the
state Emergency Shelter Grant funds.

The County Commissioners
endorsed the grant applications unanimously and without discussion.

— Worcester County will
hold a Household Hazardous Waste and E-cycling event on Nov. 6 at Showell
Elementary School, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Funding for the one-day
event, which usually runs about $20,000, including advertising, was included in
the current county budget.

“It is a worthwhile
program,” said Public Works Director John Tustin.

— The seven commercial
boat slips at the West Ocean City harbor are for lease again with current
leases expiring in September.

One slip will be in use
as an offloading point for a dredging project for the first few months of the
lease period, and whoever wins that lease will need to wait to use the slip,
staff said.

The first seven highest
bidders win leases and choose a slip in order of bid value.