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Lee County Rents Out 911 Space


Lee County will be helping one of its neighbors with emergency dispatching.

The county's dispatch center, located inside the jail complex, went online in October 2010.

E-911 Director Diana Fincher-Smith says the county has five phones lines dedicated to emergency calls.

She says that allows five different people to call 911 at the same time.

Fincher-Smith says the computerized dispatch system can actually handle nearly 200 phones lines, so Lee County will rent a few to Henry County.

She says Henry County will still handle the actual dispatching calls, as opposed to relying on Lee County.

The final connection is scheduled for Wednesday, July 24.

In anticipation of the connection, Lee County has upgraded its hardware and software.

Fincher-Smith says Henry County will rent five phone lines at $125/line/month.

She says other counties have contacted her about renting space on Lee County's computer system, as opposed to paying for new equipment, as a strong internet connection is the primary requirement.


Meanwhile, the Lee County Board of Supervisors has approved the bids for construction inside the building housing the emergency dispatch center.

About a dozen companies will be involved in the addition of multiple cells inside the current facility.

The price tag for the project will be about $485,000, which the county will borrow.

The new cells will be used to house medium security male inmates and general population female inmates.

The lack of space for the female inmates actually prompted the need to add the cells, several years earlier than anticipated.

Chairman Rick Larkin says he is pleased with the bids and that the project is proceeding.

The bids did come in about $30,000 above initial estimates, but the estimates came roughly one year ago.

Construction should get underway in 2-3 months, once materials arrive, and be completed before the end of the year.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.