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County Board approves 911 merger talks

It was a hot-button topic when it was first discussed and, last Tuesday, the potential 911 consolidation between Pierce and St. Croix counties again brought a lengthy discussion by the Pierce County Board.

Supervisor Dale Auckland started the discussion by stating he believes it’s the wrong time to proceed with this, as he felt the search for a new jail location should be the number one priority.

“Everything seems to be working ok,” Auckland said, referring to the current operations of the dispatch, with Sheriff Nancy Hove nodding in approval.

Board Chair Jeff Holst reminded his fellow supervisors the resolution in front of them asked to continue conversation with St. Croix County. He also stated a potential factor in launching these discussions is Pierce’s dispatch equipment needs to be replaced.

Scott Nelson, River Falls Fire Chief, who initially offered a no comment when given his opinion about the dispatch, changed his mind.

Nelson brought a different perspective, as River Falls Fire receives calls from both dispatch centers. While praising both for their work, he admitted he would like to see the consolidation talks continue.

“These things will take a lot of time,” he said. “I believe I’ll be retired before this is done.”

Nelson also stated at his previous job, as Fire Chief in Lakeville, Minn., the city dispatch was eliminated and taken up by Dakota County (Minn.).

“We thought it would be the end of the world,” Nelson said. As time passed, the apocalypse didn’t occur, but things like technological improvements and cost savings did.

For more please read the April 23 print version of the Herald. 

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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