During Monday’s Common Council Meeting, Sheriff Matt Hassel explained the formula used to determine the amount each emergency service is being asked to pay for dispatching services.
While the county’s 911 center is required to dispatch 911 calls, other dispatching has been provided without payment for the services from entities in the county. Because the 911 fund has been running short on funding the county decided to seek payment for serves rendered from those agencies that use the service. Currently it operates on $400,000. If all the agencies contract for dispatching services an additional $174,000 will be in the fund to provide a 4th dispatcher during high volume times with a full operational dispatch council.
When explaining the services provided Sheriff Hassel said, “911 is to answer the call and get that emergency situation to what every agency it need to be given too. We don’t document when units arrive on scene, when the fire is put out, when there is a request to call for a helicopter that’s not 911 it dispatch.”
Initially the sheriff looked a call volume and population, but realized that most of the other agencies would not be able to afford the payment. Since Plymouth and Marshall County are the largest users, he calculated the city’s share at 66% or $127,987 with the others paying 33% of the fee.
For nearly a year the County’s dispatch center has been dispatching for the City of Plymouth except Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. till 3 p.m. When they handle it themselves through the police department.
Plymouth Police Chief Dave Bacon is in favor of centralized dispatching. He said, “It’s a safety issue for the public and the officers.” He spoke about the redundancy of dispatching in an emergency situation noting it’s quicker for his officer with Central Dispatching.
The city’s clerk treasurer, Jeanine Xaver told council members saying it was “unfair for city taxpayers.”
The Common Council took no action Monday. Once they receive the written contract agreement with the county they will bring the subject to the table again. That will need to be prior to budget adoption.