Tuesday, December 05, 2000

Area closer to unified dispatch center


Ft. Thomas, Newport wait on county vote

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — City commissioners Monday unanimously approved a committee report that calls for consolidation of Campbell County emergency dispatching systems, paving the way for a single dispatch center.

        Also Monday, Fort Thomas City Council approved the report, and Campbell County Fiscal Court was expected to follow suit at its Wednesday meeting.

        Fort Thomas City Administrator Jeff Earlywine, a member of the combined dispatching study committee, pointed out that if the project moves ahead as scheduled in the committee report, the combined dispatch center would not be operational until summer 2002.

        The new combined police-fire dispatching facility, which would eliminate separate dispatch systems for Newport, Fort Thomas and the county, would be located in the Newport city building, now the home of Newport's dispatch center.

        Mr. Earlywine said the total estimated capital outlay for a combined system would be $1.86 million, which would include $1.1 million for installation of a fire dispatch system for the entire county.

        The combined dispatch would be financed through a 911 emergency phone service charge that the committee estimated would cost $1.50 a month for each phone line. Total annual revenue from the 911 fee was estimated at $1,125,300.

        Newport Mayor Tom Guidugli said the commitment by Fiscal Court to provide $750,000 in start-up cost money and $200,000 annually to make up for operating deficits “really made the difference. I think that makes it all work.”

        Each of the three government bodies must approve an ordinance adopting the 911 fees. Those fees would be collected starting in April.

        The combined dispatch system would be controlled by a six-member board consisting of two members each from the police and fire units of the three governing bodies.

       



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