The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners on Thursday approved a construction contract that will kick off renovations for the new 911 central dispatch center.

The commissioners approved a $5,996 contract with ElectroTek to partially rewire the second floor of the jail administration building, which will be the location of the central dispatch office. It's the first phase of the renovation project.

By law, local governments must consolidate emergency answering services by Jan. 1, 2014, or risk losing all federal 911 funding.

The county and city already have agreed to split the budget and renovation costs at 55 percent to the county and 45 percent for the city. Total renovations will cost about $228,000. The two governments also have decided to use $100,000 in available 911 funding and then divide the remaining $128,000.

The motion for the electrical work passed 2-0. Commissioner Bob Little abstained from the vote.

In addition to the contract, 911 Director John Hendrix said the county has received a one-time credit of $24,711 from the state regarding 911 fees collected this year. Also, the state will increase its monthly 911 contributions from $26,083 to $27,126 starting in September.

That bumps up the county's 911 contributions from about $313,000 annually to more than $325,000 annually.

Cash said recent state changes in the 911 funding formula and the monthly increase gives the county even more stability in its planning. Before the state increased cell phone fees for 911 calls, Cash said the local 911 fund was in a "downward spiral."

Also at the meeting:  

• Susan Stahl, director of Girls Inc., asked the county to fund the program at the current level of $8,000 for the 2014 fiscal year.

Three girls from the organization spoke about different programs offered at Girls Inc., including financial preparation classes. Stahl said the business plan for the next three years is to increase funding by 10 percent and expand community outreach.

"So, you're going to see Girls Inc. out in the community more than you have maybe in the last few years," Stahl said.

• The commissioners accepted a $4,000 state grant for a plotter, which is a mapping system, sought by county Emergency Management Director Dave Bell.

• The commissioners signed a notice to proceed regarding a drainage overhaul project at Audubon Park housing area. Sedam Contracting of Hanover was selected for the work. Contractors have 10 days to begin a project once a notice to proceed is signed.