A proposal to establish a regional emergency dispatching center in northern Wood County has received a financial boost from the state.
Mark Hummer, Lake Township Police Chief, reported last week to the township trustees that a grant of $87,840 was awarded for a feasibility study of merging dispatching services for the cities of Rossford and Northwood, the Village of Walbridge, and the township.
The grant is being awarded to the communities by the Ohio Department of Development through the Local Government Innovation Fund – a program initiated to foster more efficient service and collaboration among governmental entities.
For more than a year, representatives of the township, Rossford and Northwood, and Walbridge have been meeting informally to study if emergency dispatching services could be combined for all four communities
Chief Hummer said the grant will be used to retain RCC Radio Consultants, Inc. to assess the township’s dispatching center on Lemoyne Road and Northwood’s dispatching office at the city police department on Wales Road.
“They’ll be looking at things from the technical side,” Hummer said.
He said Poggemeyer Design Group is also being retained to provide assistance in the possible formation of a council of governments that would oversee a regional dispatch system.
Under that format, the council would have a fiscal officer and a board to supervise operations, the chief said.
Currently, Rossford and Walbridge contract with Lake Township for 24-hour 9-1-1 dispatch service through a call center located at a former Ohio State Highway Patrol post on Lemoyne Road the township purchased a few years ago.
Northwood handles its own emergency dispatching service at a facility in the police department on Wales Road.
One option being considered is to extend the software used by Northwood police for the proposed regional system.
The software supports the department’s computer aided dispatch system, which enables police to log onto a data base of arrest records and other reports from their vehicles.
Other area governmental entities to receive LGIF grants include:
• City of Toledo Department of Public Services for a regional composting facility. Grant of $100,000.
• Wood County Port Authority for feasibility study for Southwood Emergency Medical Service. Grant of $81,300.
• Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments for a regional water district study. Grant of $100,000.
Statewide, the Local Government Innovation Council approved more than $3.4 million in grants and $2.9 million in loans to communities
The department of development received 105 grant applications and 12 loan applications.