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Published: Monday, 5/19/2014

EMERGENCY SERVICES

Rossford considers dispatch options

City looking at 3 plans, mulls presentations

BY CARL RYAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
MacKinnon MacKinnon
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Until it decides which direction to take for dispatching services, Rossford won’t be adopting a new system for its police and fire dispatching records management.

Wasylyshyn Wasylyshyn
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The city is looking at three options for its dispatching: continue to buy the service from Lake Township, become a customer of the Wood County Sheriff’s Office, or contract with Perrysburg Township.

Last week, Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn gave a presentation to city council and Mayor Neil MacKinnon about the dispatch services his office could provide from its Bowling Green office. He said his office provided dispatch services for 13 part-time police departments, including Pemberville and Bradner, and 27 fire and EMS departments.

The sheriff, who grew up in Rossford, said taking on the city as a customer would require hiring an additional dispatcher. He noted that Rossford’s 911 calls already go through his office on their way to Lake Township. He said the cost of the additional dispatcher, billed to the city, would be about $70,000 annually.

There also would be a one-time $18,800 fee for joining the county system and training costs assessed to the city. Other options, such as crime-mapping, were available if the city wanted them, at additional cost. Crime-mapping, for instance, would be available for an $18,000 one-time fee.

Lt. Terry James, the sheriff’s dispatch head, said making the switch to the county system would take no more than two months.

After hearing the sheriff, council decided not to join Northwood’s system for managing dispatching records. It would have cost the city $59,916 initially and an annual fee of $12,897.81. Lake Township would have continued dispatching, for the time being, with the new records-management system.

The agenda item had been been given two readings, then was tabled. Mayor MacKinnon favored tabling it again to give the city more time to consider its options, but Councilman Dan Wagner said he preferred to see it voted up or down. The vote was 6-1, with Mr. Wagner casting the sole yes vote.

Mayor MacKinnon had invited Sheriff Wasylyshyn to make his presentation to give city officials a better idea of what was available. Council is reluctant to join a regional dispatch service if one is formed, balking at an estimated cost of $300,000 or more.

Rossford now pays Lake Township about $135,000 annually for dispatching, and is pleased with the service, said Mr. MacKinnon. “Lake does a fine job,” the mayor said. The city has not yet heard from Perrysburg Township. Rossford would have to give six months’ notice if it decided to end its agreement with Lake Township.

In other business, council heard from Columbia Gas of Ohio officials who said Rossford’s pipeline system would be replaced this summer.

Project manager Mike Schwieterman said Rossford’s old iron pipes would be replaced with larger-diameter plastic lines. The lines to individual homes would be replaced and each meter moved outside. Columbia’s contractor then would clean up and repair any damage.

Councilman Jerry Staczek said many residents would prefer not to have their meter relocated to the front of the house. Mr. Schwieterman said efforts would be made to accommodate them.

Contact Carl Ryan at: carlryan@theblade.com or 419-724-6095.



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