Move fast, with care, local officals say of combined dispatch

SANDUSKY Some elected officials on both sides of Perkins Avenue agree -- a combined dispatch for Sandusky and Perkins safety
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

Some elected officials on both sides of Perkins Avenue agree -- a combined dispatch for Sandusky and Perkins safety services is the way to go.

Others still have questions.

In their recently released feasibility report, the Perkins Township and City of Sandusky Police Participation Committee unanimously recommended that the city and township combine dispatch services and move toward a combined operational facility.

"I'm all for it," said Sandusky City Commissioner Dave Waddington. "If we're waiting on the study to come back, we're wasting time. We've got to save money now."

Waddington said the dollars saved from combining dispatch services could be used to put a few more officers on the street.

According to the committee's report, Sandusky could save as much as $50,000 in labor costs. The township stands to save $41,000 in labor costs if the facilities were combined.

"If it takes care of people, I'm OK with it," said Commissioner Dannie Edmon. "If it saves money it's a plus."

Upgrading to a combined dispatch would cost about $50,000 compared to the $300,000 it would cost Sandusky to upgrade on its own, according to the report

"It seems to make a lot of sense to me," said Commissioner Craig Stahl. "It's time for us to work together, work as a team and get started."

"It shows that the township and the city can work together when they put their minds to it," said Commissioner Brett Fuqua. "I could see some collaboration in other areas between the city and township in the future."

"It's very encouraging that citizens and elected representatives alike are embracing this," said Commissioner Dennis Murray.

Sandusky Ex officio Mayor Dan Kaman said that regionalization will continue to be the trend.

"It makes sense and its fiscally responsible," Kaman said.

Commissioner Brian Crandall andincoming Commissioner Julie Farrar could not be reached for comment.

"I think (the committee) has come up with a lot of good suggestions," said Perkins Trustee Tom Pascoe. "The county study is down the road, in the mean time... we ought to be doing something."

Trustee Bill Dwelle said that while the report was helpful in shedding light on the issue, he did not want to move forward with a combined dispatch until the county completed its feasibility study for a county-wide dispatch.

Dwelle said that he was also surprised the committee did not consult Perkins fire Chief Myosky.

Trustee Tim Coleman and incoming Trustee Jeff Ferrell could not be reached for comment.

In its report, the committee also addressed the proposed county-wide dispatch efforts being made by county commissioners.

"Our committee was aware of the effort to regionalize dispatch throughout the county. We believe that county-wide regionalization is a worthwhile endeavor. We also believe that any combination of dispatch between Perkins and Sandusky does nothing to impede the progress of this effort," the report stated.