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Published: Thursday, 1/9/2003

Walbridge to resubmit 911 dispatching request

Still struggling to decide what to do about its dispatching operation, Walbridge Village Council will again ask Northwood if it would be interested in providing the service.

Village Council last night also scheduled a special meeting for 6 p.m. Tuesday “to develop a transition plan [for dispatching] so we can go forward,” Councilman Dan Wilczynski said.

Never mind that a couple of months ago a similar request for a dispatching proposal died in Northwood City Council's safety committee. At the Walbridge council meeting, village Councilman Jerry Eversman told his colleagues that Northwood police Chief Gerald Herman had suggested to him that the village submit another request to the city administration.

The council authorized that action by a 4-2 vote. The request will be for a price quote for police dispatching only.

Council members Mark Timmons and Traci Taylor cast the dissenting votes.

“I'm not opposed to Northwood, but Northwood has turned us down already,” Mr. Timmons said. Mrs. Taylor noted that any 911 calls made from Walbridge would have to be routed through Lake Township to Northwood, tying up two dispatchers and wasting precious time in a potential emergency.

Time is running out. Walbridge will lose its two dispatching customers - Lake Township and Rossford - Feb. 3, when the township plans to open its own dispatching center, taking Rossford with it. Three of Walbridge's six dispatchers have accepted jobs with the new Lake Township dispatching office, which will be privately run.

Walbridge could shoulder its own dispatching operation alone, at a minimum cost of $175,000 this year, or it could become a customer of Lake Township and pay $4,500 a month.

Councilman Eversman said the township's price is too high, given that Walbridge pays $180,000 in property taxes to the township's general, fire, and EMS funds, which will be used to pay for the new dispatching office. The township trustees turned down his request that the dispatching service be provided for free.

Mr. Wilczynski was elected the new council president at last night's meeting. He replaces Mr. Eversman.

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