September 22, 2010

Joint dispatch will save Racine money, official says

Update: Not surprisingly, the Executive Committee approved the joint dispatch agreement. City Administrator Tom Friedel said the agreement would result in savings, but contracts and unknown costs make it difficult to peg the savings. The JT reports today the savings could be a half-million dollars per year. If true, that'd be a big help to a city that's going to have to cut services and/or raise taxes to balance its 2011 budget.

Here's Friedel's note to us on estimating savings from joint dispatch:
There are numerous variables that make it difficult to produce a firm number. Although we are confident that there will be savings, the requirement for the city to bargain the impact of this change to an existing contract and other variables make it imprudent to give you an estimate. 
Original post: The city may be close to turn over its police and fire 911 dispatch center to Racine County.

Racine's Executive Committee will meet Thursday at 5 p.m. to discuss two ordinances that would combine the city's dispatch center with Caledonia, Mount Pleasant, and Sturtevant into an operation run by Racine County. Dispatchers would be located at the county's dispatch center at Ives Grove and at the City of Racine's dispatch center at the Racine Police Department.

The city would pay $1.3 million for the system for the 2011 fiscal year and $1.4 million from 2012 to 2020. The city budget about $2 million for joint dispatch in its 2010 budget.

Here's the first of two ordinances the Executive Committee will consider in open session on Thursday:

Mayor and City Clerk be authorized to enter into an Agreement with Racine County, Village of Sturtevant, Village of Mt. Pleasant and Town of Caledonia to consolidate dispatch services
Whereas, the City of Racine, Village of Sturtevant, Village of Mt. Pleasant and Town of Caledonia (the “Municipalities”) and Racine County currently have issues related to dispatch services and equipment that must be addressed without significant additional delay; and
Whereas, the residents and referenced “Municipalities” would be best served by one agency providing dispatch services county-wide; and 
Whereas, an intergovernmental agreement and detailed contract has been developed to the mutual satisfaction of all parties.
Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the Mayor and City Clerk be authorized and directed to enter into an Agreement with the other “Municipalities” for the purpose of consolidating dispatch services for all the “Municipalities” pursuant to Sections 61.65 and 66.0301 of the Wisconsin Statutes.
Fiscal Note: This agreement will result in a reduction in the cost of personnel and equipment while improving services for the city law enforcement and EMS providers.

And the second ordinance:

Mayor and City Clerk be authorized to enter into an Agreement with Village of Sturtevant, Village of Mt. Pleasant and Town of Caledonia to share in the cost of a joint dispatch center

Whereas, the City of Racine, pursuant to Sections 61.65 and 66.0301 of the Wisconsin Statues, has agreed to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with Racine County, the Village of Sturtevant, the Village of Mt. Pleasant and the Town of Caledonia, under the terms of which Racine County will establish a joint dispatch operation; and
Whereas, under the terms of the referenced Agreement, the Village of Sturtevant, the Village of Mt. Pleasant, the City of Racine and the Town of Caledonia have agreed to share in the cost of the joint dispatch operation.
Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the Mayor and City Clerk be authorized and directed to enter into an Agreement to pay the City’s agreed upon share of Racine County’s joint dispatch operations costs, commencing in the 2011 fiscal year.
Fiscal Note: This agreement will provide payment for the cost of joint dispatch services provided by Racine County, in a fair and equitable manner that will result in reduced dispatch service costs for City of Racine taxpayers.
The City’s fixed share cost for the 2011 fiscal year will be $1,301,326.00. The City’s fixed share cost share for fiscal year 2012 through 2020 will be $1,401,899.00. The $1,401,899.00 share will thereafter be reduced by 10% on an annual basis between 2021 through 2029.
In fiscal years 2011 and 2012 only, there will be additional transition costs.
The Executive Committee is run by the mayor and composed of the committee chairman and the City Coucnil president. Most members of the City Council attend the meetings.

As a side note, here's a 2001 article suggesting joint dispatch in Racine County is close to a done deal.

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  1. Who pays the cost if more dispatchers are needed because the county's projections are wrong? I'm conerned the projected staffing is low to make this all work politically but more people will be needed to actually make it work. Who pays if the planned staffing is too low? My guess is the communities coming into the project. I'm not against joint dispatch, it is long overdue, but who pays if the plan is wrong?

  2. It's about time.
    Now when are we going to have joint administration? Joint health?
    Look in the phone book in the blue page section. All those depts can be combined.
    Why not just combine all the municipalities?

  3. WE need to cut cost this is one way. Also to save more money the City Administrator,The PIO,and Brian O'Connell have got to go.

  4. Anon 10:16 You forgot Dickert!

  5. The city will spend the money saved!I wouldn't be surprised if it's already spent!Blue page section huge but if you call city hall there RUID and just send you to the next person.I bet half don't know what there job is!

  6. Rise up Racine, take pride in your city. Get rid of Dickert and friends and lets return this city to it's rightful place. These scum bags have single handedly destroyed this city. It's now or never!

  7. This will not save a dime, if anything it will cost the city more money in the long run. As usual, people at the top making decisions and projections on savings. You still need the same amount of people, to do the same job.

  8. Wanna save 125K a year for the city? FIRE FREIDEL & EICKHORST, a complete waste of money. Name two things those two have done? More evidence of a clueless, self serving mayor. Both jobs that should be rightfully done by this loser of a mayor.