ASHTABULA — City police dispatchers soon will be taking on additional 9-1-1 calls.
With only a month to go before their agreement with the village of Middlefield runs out, village officials in Orwell, Roaming Shores, Andover and Jefferson, are looking to go with Ashtabula City for police dispatching services for two months this year and through 2014.
City Council gave City Manager Jim Timonere the go-ahead Monday night to enter into contracts with the villages to provide dispatching services.
The move means Chief Robert Stell can bring back the laid-off dispatcher, request an additional part-time dispatcher/correction officer, and put the patrolmen who are now manning dispatch back on the road. “I’m very happy,” Stell said.
Timonere said he’s real excited about it, too. “We felt it’s the best way to bring the dispatcher back and put more officers on the road,” he said. “It also shows we are more than willing to work with other villages and their confidence is being restored in the city.”
The four villages went with Middlefield two years ago after Ashtabula County Sheriff William Johnson tried to double the villages’ yearly fees to about $40,000 or more.
For months, the villages have been talking about their options for dispatch service in Ashtabula County.
The villages of Andover, Jefferson and Orwell will pay $30,000 a year for 2013 and 2014 under the agreement with Ashtabula City and Roaming Shores will pay $9,000 because of fewer calls, according to the agreement.
Roaming Shores and Orwell have approved the agreement. Jefferson Village Council met Monday night, and Andover has put the measure up for a second reading.
It costs the city $136,000 to run the dispatching, Timonere said, but it’s more than worth it to put more officers on the road.
The villages will make their first payment by Nov. 30 to help with the additional cost of bringing back the dispatching in the 2012 budget.