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Morris council passes dispatch agreement, updates firearm code

Published: Monday, May 19, 2014 9:36 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 9:50 a.m. CDT

MORRIS – The city of Morris should save about $228,000 in emergency dispatching costs beginning next year.

The Morris City Council passed Monday the intergovernmental agreement establishing the cost burden for the 14 agencies using the newly-consolidated dispatch service in Grundy County.

Morris was one of the first of the 14 districts to pass the agreement which has been the source of more than a year of collaboration and debate. The remaining districts will bring the agreement before their boards for passage throughout the next month.

The 911 Executive Committee passed the agreement two weeks ago, and the full Emergency Telephone System Board unanimously approved the agreement at a special meeting held May 14. 

Morris will continue to pay $501,000 for dispatch services until the current agreement expires later this year.

“This saves us a lot of money compared to what we were paying for our own dispatch services,” Morris Finance and Administration Committee Chairman Bill Martin told the council Monday.

If passed by all the remaining districts, the agreement will be effective for three years. If any of the boards fail to pass it, the agreement will be sent back to the 911 Board for reconsideration and more adjustments.

The council also updated Monday the city’s municipal code regarding the discharging of firearms within city limits.

City officials found the code needed to account for the newly-passed concealed carry law. Specifically, the code now permits certain businesses within the city to discharge firearms on their premises if they are selling a firearm, offering firearm training or partaking in other, now-legal activities regarding firearms.

“It basically says that if someone or some business were to come in with a fully-licensed shooting range or shooting gallery they would be legal,” Morris Mayor Richard Kopczick said Monday. “It makes it so that our zoning complies with the concealed-carry laws.”

The municiapl code was reevaluated after a Morris resident approached the city about putting a gun range in their residence, Morris Police Chief Brent Dite told the Judiciary and License Committee during its meeting held before the council.

City Attorney Scott Belt said the new code still would not permit residents to have a range on a residential property.

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