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Interim chief for 911 center named

– Members of the Consolidated Communications Partnership board Tuesday appointed an interim executive director for the joint Fort Wayne-Allen County 911 call center.

The board, which oversees the call center, appointed William Bassett. He will fill in during the search for a new executive director, said Fort Wayne Fire Chief Amy Biggs, board president.

Bassett currently is deputy director and oversees the operations of the center. No adjustments or increases in Bassett’s salary for the interim position were approved.

The executive director’s annual salary is listed as between $70,000 and $90,000 on the county’s website.

The new city-county 911 center will open Feb. 4 on the sixth floor of the Rousseau Centre in downtown Fort Wayne. The renovation of the new center came in just under $1.3 million; replacing and installing the public safety communications system cost about $17 million.

The partnership has received several applications from people interested in the position, including Bassett, who said he has applied.

A two-member subcommittee will evaluate the applications and make recommendations; candidates will be interviewed by the board, and a final decision is expected by mid-March, said John Feighner, attorney for the board.

In other business, Feighner negotiated a month-to-month lease on a tower that will be defunct once the new communications system goes live.

The tower, owned by Crown Castle International, is off Interstate 69 on Hillegas Road. The lease originated in 2001 was set to expire Dec. 1, but a slight delay in launching the system forced the partnership to negotiate a new agreement, Feighner said.

Four other towers already in place will support the new system operations, he said.

The new lease will cost $10,344 a month and is expected to be necessary only until March or April, Feighner said.