The Jefferson County 911 advisory committee on Tuesday night approved a new budget in preparation for next year's state-mandated central dispatch consolidation.

The city and county must consolidate its emergency answering points by Jan. 1, 2014, or they risk losing all 911 state funding - about $312,000.

The proposed budget would give the city a savings of about $98,000, while the county would pay additional $4,000 annually.

The proposed $804,155 budget calls for Madison to cover 45 percent of the 911 contributions, while the county would pay the remaining 55 percent. Hanover would not be obligated to contribute for the first three years.

While crafting the deal, the biggest item of discussion was city and county employee personnel costs. Under the plan, city dispatchers would become county employees and see a change in salary and special pay. They would lose holiday pay and clothing allowance but be given a 3 percent contribution toward their retirement funds.

"Basically, it's like a 3 percent raise," said 911 director John Hendrix.

The dispatch center is planned to be located on the second floor of the Jefferson County Jail. Renovations will cost about $230,000 to combine the services - which mostly covers the cost of a new radio system.

The City Council already has approved the amendment to the interlocal agreement, but the plan has yet to go before the county and town of Hanover. The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to review the budget at its Thursday meeting.  

Committee members Mayor Damon Welch, County Council member Larry Wynn and Commissioner Mark Cash said they felt the government entities could come to an agreement on the proposed deal.

"I think we have something here that everyone can agree on," Cash said.