The future of Tazewell County’s emergency 911 system, and how county residents will pay for it, confronts the County Board when it meets Wednesday night.

The board also will consider hiring a deputy auditor, at a time when it’s also reviewing whether to abolish the auditor as an elected position and the newly elected auditor is running for County Clerk.

A batch of service fee increases also fills the board’s agenda, including ones hiking the costs for getting married and going to jail in Tazewell.

Here is a summary of the meeting’s topics.

911 System

The board is under a state-imposed Oct. 1 deadline to approve its portion of an inter-governmental agreement for a major overhaul of the county-wide 911 emergency response system. That will happen Wednesday, said board Chairman David Zimmerman.

The new system will reduce from four to two the number of Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), or dispatch centers, in the county. The greatest impacts will be felt in East Peoria, Washington and Morton, which operate their own PSAPs from their police departments.

Those three will be consolidated into one based in Morton, which will enlarge its police headquarters for the purpose. Emergency responders from Pekin, the county Sheriff’s Department and 32 other agencies in the county will continue to be dispatched from the Tazewell/Pekin Consolidated Communications Center in Pekin.

The reorganization will come with a combined cost of about $2 million. Who will pay for it, in terms of cost sharing among county communities, and how will be determined by a board created to govern the new system, which must be in place under state mandate by July 2019.

Deputy Auditor

Shortly before Shelly Hranka’s election last fall to succeed long-time County Auditor Vicky Grashoff, the board hired a county finance director, Craig Peters, to help prepare the annual county budget, a duty Grashoff had assumed. The board also transferred two auditor employees to Peters’ office and cut the auditor’s salary from $70,000 to $50,000.

Those decisions don’t appear to bode well for Hranka’s request to create a new deputy auditor’s position, with a suggested salary greater than the auditor’s.

Her request “may get a motion for discussion,” Zimmerman said, but likely not his vote for approval.

“I don’t support it as it’s currently written,” with a job description that basically encompasses those of the elected auditor, in part because the board “is facing one of the tightest budgets I’ve seen,” and now is not the time to add new positions, he said.

Hranka announced in July that she will run for County Clerk next year to replace retiring Christie Webb. A board committee was created that same month to review whether voters should be asked in a referendum whether the auditor’s position, which is not required by the state’s constitution, should be abolished.

Service Fees

Fee increases for county services, documents and the costs for going to jail will rise if the board approves a half-dozen recommendations for them on its agenda.

An independent study several years ago recommended the increases to catch up with rising costs. Two fees, including a $35 “Jail Intake Fee,” would be new. Indigent inmates also would pay a “medical copay fee” of $25, up $15, as their share of needed medical services.

County-issued marriage licenses also will cost $75, a $25 increase, if the board approves that recommendation.

Follow Michael Smothers at Twitter.com/msmotherspekin