After a yearlong reorganization of the Delaware County Emergency Communications Department and the Delaware County 911 Board, county commissioners have agreed to cut three positions within the emergency communications department.

After a yearlong reorganization of the Delaware County Emergency Communications Department and the Delaware County 911 Board, county commissioners have agreed to cut three positions within the emergency communications department.

Delaware County voters on May 3 approved a five-year, 0.45-mill renewal operating levy for the county's 911 emergency communications system. Even with the levy's passage, the county's communications department has a tight budget.

"As you know (we've) been looking at the department budget for quite some time and it has been determined that even with the passage of the levy in May that there will be a $1.2-million deficit at the end of 2012 for the department," said Dawn Huston, director of administrative services.

The reorganization reviewed the communications department's current budget, operations, staffing levels and call volumes.

Huston and Bob Greenlaw, director of Delaware County Emergency Communications, along with the county 911 board, considered that some duties were being absorbed or replaced by technological advances.

"We had three administrative positions that are no longer necessary with this reorganization within the department," Huston said.

The Emergency Communications Database and the County Geographical Information System office offer greater speed and accuracy and don't need manual operation.

The three employees in the positions being eliminated have been offered new dispatching jobs in the department, plus the ability to continue their health and retirement benefits.

County commissioner Tommy Thompson thanked Huston and Greenlaw for their work on the reorganization and finding a way to offer the employees new positions.

"I think, along with the reorganization and higher efficiency of our 911 department, that this is a necessary thing to do right now," Thompson said. "I think we have done what we need to do as employers of these folks and that we've tried to make it as painless as possible, knowing that reorganization happens and we need to do this."

The reorganization also allows the department to bring all training in-house for a large reduction in training costs.