County approves 911 dispatch agreement with Great Falls, Cascade, Belt, Neihart

It’s been years in the making, but Cascade County Commissioners approved an interlocal agreement for the management of the 911 dispatch center on Tuesday.

The City of Great Falls staffs the dispatch center and pays for the equipment, but provides dispatch services for Cascade County, and the towns of Cascade and Neihart and the City of Belt.

The interlocal agreement breaks down the amounts the other municipalities pay to the city in exchange for dispatch services and the responsibilities of each party.

Lease for 911 center back on City Commission agenda this week

John Stevens started working on the agreement several years ago when he was the undersheriff at the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office. Now he’s the Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator/Emergency Manager for Cascade County.

John Stevens, CCSO undersheriff, hired as new Cascade County emergency manager

“This has been a tough negotiation,” said Commissioner Joe Briggs.

Belt, Cascade and Neihart have already approved the agreement and the Great Falls City Commission will consider the agreement in June.

The agreement hadn’t been updated since 1996 and Stevens, as well as Great Falls Police Chief Dave Bowen, started working on revising the document about five years ago.

[READ: the 911 dispatch agreement starts on page 88]

There were several meetings amongst city and county commissioners related to the agreement and many more at the staff level.

“I think we have a good product,” Stevens told The Electric this week. “It’s fair to everybody.”