Ashley Hiruko/staff photo
                                Exterior of Kirkland’s Fire Station 27.

Ashley Hiruko/staff photo Exterior of Kirkland’s Fire Station 27.

Council approves Kirkland’s share of NORCOM budget

NORCOM provides emergency dispatch services in northeastern King County.

The Kirkland City Council unanimously passed a resolution to confirms it share of the 2020 NORCOM budget at its Oct. 15 meeting.

The resolution at the meeting provides NORCOM — which is northeast King County’s regional public safety communications agency — with the necessary documentation to complete work on its 2020 budget. At a Dec. 11, 2018 meeting, Kirkland council approved its share of the NORCOM budget as a part of the passage of the city’s 2019-20 budget. There is a $60,278 variance between the numbers for police and fire services council previously approved versus what was found in NORCOM’s proposed assessment for 2020.

Those participating in NORCOM’s inter-local agreement, which helped the agency form in the first place, have been required to first approve their portion of the NORCOM budget before the service’s overall budget is implemented in order to receive services.

User agreements for NORCOM in general are increasing, according to the Oct. 15 meeting agenda item, on average by about 1.9 percent. Founded in 2007, with operations beginning in 2009, NORCOM provides 9-1-1 dispatch services for cities in northeast King County’s, including Kirkland, Bellevue, Redmond and Mercer Island.

Last year, the King County Council approved a regional effort to update the county’s emergency communications system, E-911. The new version of E-911 incorporates new technologies into dispatch services, like text, photo and other mechanisms.

“The 911 industry faces significant challenges in keeping pace with ever more complex technology and the high cost of that technology,” Tom Orr, executive director of NORCOM, said in a Reporter article from last year. “This new ordinance is an important step forward in following national best practices that require increased coordination between all emergency services providers.”

About 10.7 percent of all fire calls and around 34.6 percent of all police calls for service in NORCOM generally are from Kirkland.

NORCOM’s budget for 2020 is slated to be officially adopted on Dec. 13, 2019.

For more information about the budget adoption, visit bit.ly/325LURG.

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