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Toledo City Council approves Code Red

March 27, 2013
By Jimmy Gillispie - Staff Writer , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

One month after voting down the CodeRED renewal offer, the Toledo City Council unanimously approved a motion to pay for the service for another year.

On March 11, the city council listened to Tama County 911 Director Ryan Currens talk about the CodeRED service. After that discussion, Council Member Terry Goodhart made a motion to pay $1,371 to pay for CodeRED. "Elmer" Skip Wilson seconded the motion and the council voted 4-0 to approve the motion. Council Member Jeff Filloon wasn't at the meeting.

"I think as long as everybody knows who can start it, I don't think that's a bad price," Wilson said.

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The city council's initial motion to disband from CodeRED was made at the Feb. 11 meeting. Two weeks later, Toledo Fire Chief Joe Boll and Kendall Jordan, assistant Toledo chief and 2nd District member of the Board of Supervisors, came to the city council meeting and convinced the council to rescind its previous vote. However, before the council members would officially renew the service, they wanted answers about it and about what happened last summer after a convict escaped Blackhawk County and made his way into Tama County.

Currens was invited to last week's meeting. Currens helped clear up some issues regarding that July 12 incident.

"It wasn't called into the comm center," Currens said. "I reviewed all of the tapes today and no one called in or radioed in to the comm center. The only thing I heard was that someone talked to a deputy about it and that Sheriff Kucera made the decision the county wasn't going to do it. We never heard anything from the City of Dysart or City of Toledo or anyone that had officers on duty at the time."

It was initially reported to the city council that a Toledo police officer called the county dispatcher, but was rejected usage of the CodeRED, because Blackhawk County sheriff's department didn't want news of the escapee to reach the public. Currens said he listened to the two hours of dispatch tapes before and after the incident was reported in Blackhawk County.

Currens said Council Member Travis Mullens called about 1 hour and 24 minutes after the report was made and asked if CodeRED was going to be used or why it hadn't been used. Currens added that call was the first and only call from someone in Toledo about the incident.

The City of Toledo used 1,793 minutes of its allotted 4,569 minutes last year. Those minutes were all used during three calls. During the first CodeRED call last year, 801 numbers were called and 520 minutes were used. The second call attempted 1,191 calls and used 403 minutes, while the final call tried 2,272 calls and used 870 minutes. Wilson asked Currens about the variance in calls and minutes.

"The biggest difference there is usually how many people are home," Currens said. "Probably time of day is your biggest difference. It will charge a minute for every time it makes a connection. So if it's leaving a voicemail message or talking to a person, then it counts that as making contact. If it rings and rings without making contact, it doesn't count against you.

"So we see quite a disparity during daytime calls, especially the landlines that don't have answering machines," he added. "Almost all of the cell phones count against us, because even if you don't pick up, it will usually go to your voicemail."

Anyone inside Toledo's city limits that wants to sign up for CodeRED service can call (641) 484-6261. It's free to sign up. Residents may also go online to www.tamacounty.org and sign up, but that process may take 2-3 days. Those signing up for CodeRED may also receive emails and text messages.

Other business:

The council appointed Dr. Mallory the Toledo Health Officer. Mayor Dave Svoboda suggested Mallory and the council approved the recommendation with a 4-0 vote.

The city council voted to approve a fireworks agreement with J&M Displays for three years, beginning in July 2014. The agreement says that $6,000 will be spent on fireworks for the annual Fourth of July show. That $6,000 includes $2,500 from the City of Toledo, $2,500 from the City of Tama and $1,000 from the fireworks fund.

 
 

 

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