Lake Township trustees last night proceeded with plans to establish their own dispatching office for police and fire services by approving nearly $30,000 in equipment purchases.
The township will pay Verizon North $14,870 for a computer to handle calls to 911 and $14,880 for a closed circuit television system that includes cameras, intercoms, VCRs, and monitors. The trustees expect to spend $75,000 on equipment by the time they are done.
The 911 computer will be the latest technology, Melanie Bowen-Horton, the trustees' chairwoman, said. The television system, to be purchased from Torrence Sound Equipment Co., Inc., of Perrysburg Township, will be installed inside and outside the new dispatch office and in the booking room, explained police Chief Danny LaDuke, and will allow dispatchers to observe who is coming and going.
Officials plan to have the dispatch center operational by Feb. 1. The trustees gave the go-ahead two weeks ago after months of bickering with Walbridge, the current provider of dispatching services, over stiff fee hikes.
Rossford, Walbridge's other dispatching customer, has indicated that it would contract for the new Lake Township service. The two customers pay for 80 percent of the cost of Walbridge's dispatching office. Yet to be determined is if Walbridge can maintain the office on its own. Lake Township has offered to provide dispatching services to Walbridge for a fee.
Ms. Bowen-Horton noted that the township's dispatching contract with Walbridge expires Oct. 28. After that date, the township wants to buy services on a month-to-month basis, but Ms. Bowen-Horton said Walbridge has not responded to a letter stating as much.