endorses E-911, wilderness area proposals
Express Staff Writer
Valley council members stepped forward Thursday to endorse two
long-stalled projects that would have far-reaching effects not only in
Blaine County but also throughout central Idaho if ultimately completed.
council voted to:
the proposed E-911 consolidated emergency dispatch system for Blaine
County, which would add $1 to each telephone bill to cover costs of
the modernized system, if approved by voters. The measure will be on the
November general election ballot.
designation of the White Cloud and Boulder mountains—some 500,000
acres—as a wilderness area.
emergency dispatch system for fire, police and emergency medical
services would be a vast improvement over the present 911 system. With
the E-911, emergency operators could instantly identify the address of
an emergency call, unlike the present system, which relies on callers to
identify their location. As proposed, it also would operate from a
single communications center and serve all Wood River Valley and Blaine
council was told by former Blaine County commissioner Leonard Harlig,
who as a private citizen is helping promote the new E-911 system, that
ultimately would be upgraded technologically to identify the location of
cell phone emergency calls within 10 feet of the call location.
revenues in Blaine County from the proposed $1 telephone surcharge would
be an estimated $290,000. Launching the system initially would cost
about $400,000, according to Sun Valley city administrator Dan Pincetich,
and about $50,000 a year to maintain, according to Harlig.
of Ketchum has yet to endorse the proposed system. It will be discussed
by the city council in July, according to Mayor Ed Simon. At issue in
Ketchum is whether it wants to be part of a consolidated countywide
emergency E-911, or maintain its own 911 service.
voters must approve the system in November. If approved, billing on
phones would begin in about February.
endorsing the White Clouds and Boulder mountains wilderness area,
Councilman Latham Williams, the new vice chair of the Idaho state
Republican Party, said he was "proud" to make the motion to
endorse the wilderness proposal, and pointed out that being supportive
of the environment, as well as being a Republican, "is not mutually
attempt to make the area a wilderness area has been making the rounds in
Idaho and in Washington since 1972. Tom Pomeroy, of the Idaho
Conservation League, told the council that the White Clouds and Boulders
are the largest roadless area south of Alaska without wilderness
designated wilderness, Pomeroy said no changes would occur inside the
area, which is largely roadless.