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Plans move ahead for regional dispatch center despite grant uncertainty

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2015

The future of a regional 9-1-1 dispatch center for the Illinois Valley is one of many things being held up because of Illinois’ budget issues.

Under former governor Pat Quinn, the state awarded a $1.5 million grant to build a regional dispatch center near Illinois Valley Community College. However Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei says no dirt will move on the building until the current governor unfreezes grants.

While they wait for the grant, Bernabei says the cities are taking care of all the leg work in creating a regional dispatch center. Monday night the Peru City Council agreed to add Mendota and Bureau County to the consolidated dispatch center, joining Peru, La Salle and Oglesby.

Bernabei says if the construction grant is approved soon, they could potentially get building the center early next year. If the grant goes away, plan B could be asking taxpayers to foot the bill.

Governor Bruce Rauner Monday signed a bill that requires consolidation of dispatch centers where each 9-1-1 center can’t serve a population under 25,000. The law takes effect in July of 2017.

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