Rising costs for Lucas County 911 dispatch

Rising costs for Lucas County 911 dispatch
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 10:49 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Lucas County communities may soon see any even bigger bill for 911 dispatch services than they anticipated.

The new year budget numbers are in and they’re over last year’s figures and much higher than the projections shown before the consolidated 911 system was adopted.

As Lucas County leaders crafted this consolidated 911 system, where it was all hubbed out of one Toledo headquarters and eliminated regional dispatch spots, a feasibility study was created in 2019. Page 38 laid out projected transition budgets. In 2023 it was supposed to be about $10.6 million.

At Monday’s Lucas County 911 Regional Council Governments we learned that number is actually going to be $14.6 million.

“I’m not shocked that we’re not at 10 because we told them it was going to be there but 14.6 is probably more than we anticipated,” said Maumee Mayor Rich Carr.

Mayor Carr says his police chiefs had been saying for years the numbers were off when they were pitched.

What’s increasing them? Meeting minutes from the council cite things like a new union contract which includes training and holiday pay. Staffing itself makes up a huge majority of the cost.

Those dollars are charged back to the communities that use 911 dispatch based on a percentage of calls they receive.

“It’s not providing the services that our residents have come to expected in Maumee. We were willing to pay more to keep our same level of service in our community,” said Mayor Carr.

Invoices to those communities show last year’s budget was about a million dollars less. So if places were budgeting off the original projections or even last year’s figure their dollar amount will go up. For some places that may have never paid for dispatch services in the past.

“It was represented to be one cost and its far more than what was represented and to that level there are great frustrations,” said Mayor Carr.

For this first year of this 2021, some communities had Lucas County subsidize the fees. This upcoming year the county will subsidize only half. In September each community’s representatives in the system will vote on the budget.

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