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Published: Wednesday, 12/11/2002

Walbridge soliciting input from residents on dispatching service

Walbridge council will begin its meeting next week an hour earlier to include a public hearing on whether the village should pay a hefty price to preserve its police and fire dispatching operation or contract with Lake Township at a much lower cost.

The Wednesday meeting will begin at 6 p.m. The site hasn't been determined.

The council met last night as a committee of the whole, but was unable to reach a unanimous agreement on what to do about the dispatching.

Time is running out. Walbridge will lose its two dispatching customers - Lake Township and Rossford - Feb. 3, when the township expects to open its own dispatching center, taking Rossford with it.

Walbridge could shoulder its dispatching operation alone, at a ball park, and probably unrealistically low, cost of $175,000 the first year, or it could become a customer of Lake Township at $4,500 a month.

Council President Jerry Eversman alone wanted to spend the money necessary to maintain village dispatching - unless Lake Township could be persuaded to offer the service for free. He provided figures from the Wood County Auditor showing that Walbridge annually pays a total of $180,000 in property taxes to the township's general, fire, and EMS funds.

The much smaller Walbridge, he said, would be billed $54,000 a year for dispatching, while Lake would pay only $28,683.

“We're subsidizing the Lake Township police department already. Now they want us to pay twice for those services,” Mr. Eversman said.

Point taken, other councilmen said. But being unjustly squeezed by Lake Township was still less expensive by far.

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