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Dispatch plan in works

County provides administration

   The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners has signed an agreement with Tri-County Communications -- Tri-Com, the 911 dispatch center serving Sherman, Wheeler and Gillam counties -- to provide administrative services.
   Under the agreement, Tri-Com will pay Jefferson County $3,500 per month for administrative duties by April Stream, longtime director of Jefferson County's 911 dispatch center. The commission unanimously signed the agreement at its June 27 meeting.
   Stream has been working part time at Tri-Com's dispatch center in Condon -- about 85 miles northeast of Madras -- since May.
   The county is waiting to determine if it will make financial sense to close the local dispatch center and combine forces with Tri-Com, which has a larger budget even though it serves a much smaller population.
   The local dispatch center currently has five employees, including Stream, and one vacant position, while the Tri-Com center has nine employees -- five full-time and four part-time employees.
   Local users -- the cities of Madras, Metolius and Culver, the Jefferson County Fire Department, Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services, and Lake Chinook Fire and Rescue -- have expressed support for the plan to combine dispatch centers, which could take place as early as October or November.