COLUMBIANA CO. Board will try to hurry 911

A commissioner wrote the law when he served as state representative.
LISBON -- "Not so fast," is what Columbiana County Commissioner Sean Logan seems to be saying in response to a plan to force the county's new but unactivated 911 system to undergo a lengthy approval process.
Logan is challenging fellow Commissioner Gary Williams' assertion that state law requires that an operational plan for the new system be OK'd before it can be activated in about two years.
The proposal would be scuttled if the operational plan weren't approved. The process includes getting the assent of township, village and city governments representing at least 60 percent of the county's population.
Wrote the bill
Logan said he's in a unique position to interpret the law governing the approval process: He wrote the 1994 bill that spells it out.
A section of the law allows the county to avoid the process because the county successfully underwent it with a 1991 operation plan, Logan said.
Although approved, the older plan was mothballed after voters in November 1992 rejected a proposal to fund 911 using property taxes.
In November 2003, the county went back to voters and got their approval to help fund a new 911 system with a 50-cent telephone surcharge that would appear on their monthly bills.
That means the county may now dust off the old operation plan and use it for the new system without having to undergo the approval process all over again, Logan said.
He and Williams said they will confirm that strategy as soon as possible.
Williams said a telephone company 911 expert had told him the operation plan approval process must be repeated. He added that he will be pleased if that's not the case.
Updated version
An updated version of the 1991 plan is being assembled and will include details such as spelling out who would answer 911 calls.
Planners for 911 are considering having the emergency calls answered by police and fire dispatchers at the county sheriff's office and those in Salem, Columbiana, East Palestine and East Liverpool.