Tuesday’s Duncan City Council meeting left members of the Stephens County Public Safety Communications Authority with more questions than answers.

In the authority’s regular meeting Wednesday, members discussed the City of Duncan’s decision to cancel the contract with the Communications Center, effective April 14, which has the fate of the Comm Center and the SCPSCA public trust called into question.

The council’s decision came as a surprise to several of the authority members who didn’t learn of the action until Wednesday morning. This also added to the concerns of the trust members.

Lt. Rodney Richards of the Stephens County Sheriff’s Department said, “We’re all in a lot of unknowns right now.”

In that state of uncertainty, the group tabled a couple of agenda items, including possibly purchasing a server and a proposed contract with Comanche to use the Comm Center. The authority approved entering into a contract with Charles Turney for the 2006-07 audit.

Sheriff Jimmie Bruner received a memo from Duncan City Manager Clyde Shaw Wednesday. It discussed the city’s concerns with the dispatch service as related to the safety of Police and Fire departments.

“I don’t want to see the trust dissolved,” Bruner said. “But if it’s the will of the board, that’s what happens.”

The public trust can be dissolved only by a 2/3 majority vote.

“It was never our intent other than to provide service to the county,” Bruner said. “We would continue to do so.

“There wouldn’t be a disruption in the service.”

Gary Curtis, Comm Center director, said the dispatchers have been working hard, but the dispatch service has gone through periods of being understaffed.

“Our main concern is to the public,” Curtis said. “I think we have come a long way in the last year.”

Because of the joint trust of the authority, there are several legalities facing the SCPSCA.

“There’s going to be legal issues we’re going to have to discuss,” Bruner said.

To help assess the legal situation, the authority asked Assistant District Attorney Josh Creekmore to talk with Duncan City Attorney Jim Frieda.

Capt. Rick Lang of the Duncan Police Department said there was little that could be done until all trust members understood the legal position of the city, county and trust authority.

“I guess we’re at a standstill until you (Creekmore) and Jim can get together,” Lang said to Creekmore during the meeting.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the authority is at 2 p.m. April 4. The members said they may have to call a special meeting before then.

Recommended for you