A proposal by the Wood County Sheriff’s Department to assume emergency dispatching services for Lake Township appears to be less than what it’s currently costing the township to operate its own dispatching center.
However, after hearing a presentation Tuesday by Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn, township officials are asking for more information on the proposal.
Richard Welling, a township trustee, directed Police Chief/Administrator Mark Hummer and Fire Chief Bruce Moritz to meet with the sheriff to discuss technical aspects of the proposal.
“We will give this serious consideration,” Welling said to the sheriff as he closed his presentation.
Sheriff Wasylyshyn said it costs approximately $65,210 a year for a full-time dispatcher at the county department. He estimated annual fees for the expanded service would be about $8,500. A one-time fee for setting up a record management system would be about $35,230.
If the sheriff added two dispatchers to serve the township, villages of Walbridge and Millbury and City of Rossford it would cost roughly half what dispatching service is now costing, Hummer said.
The township by contract provides emergency dispatching for the villages and Rossford, apportioning costs by call volume. Under that format, Walbridge pays about $50,000 annually and Rossford about $120,000. The township share is roughly $130,000.
Chief Hummer said there are usually one or two dispatchers on duty per shift at the township dispatching center on Lemoyne Road.
“If he can do what we can do at about half the cost then I’d be remiss as administrator to not recommend it,” Hummer said. “We need to look at all our options and do what’s best for our citizens. The cost is not the primary factor, quality of service is.”
Sheriff Wasylyshyn made a similar presentation about two weeks ago to Rossford City Council.
The township, villages and Rossford have been meeting with representatives of the City of Northwood to discuss merging their dispatching systems into a regional format. If that merger took place, it would likely result in the closing of Northwood’s dispatching center at the police station on Wales Road or Lake Township’s office on Lemoyne.
After Tuesday’s trustees meeting, Hummer said a study of merging the systems is approaching “the 11th hour.” The entities participating in the study have agreed to a regional council of government form of administration for a merged system if it were to be adopted.
Also, a contract Lake Township has with LifeStar is scheduled to expire next April. Under the contract, the company provides dispatchers for the township’s Lemoyne Road facility.
In his presentation to the trustees, Sheriff Waslyshyn said his department’s communication division is staffed by 16 full-time dispatchers working 12-hour shifts. There are four dispatchers working per shift, including one supervisor.
In other business, the trustees were informed by Dan McLargin, road supervisor, that the township has received a $140,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation that will be used to replace pavement on Libby Road near the Ohio Turnpike.
The grant will be issued in 2015.
The trustees also heard from a resident of the 4100 block of Waltham Road who complained about open burning on her neighbors’ property.
She said the burning occurs during the day and night and the resulting smoke can be heavy at times.
Chief Moritz said he would discuss the issue with her further.