NOW:53146:USA01489
http://widgets.journalinteractive.com/cache/JIResponseCacher.ashx?duration=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.wp.myweather.net%2FeWxII%2F%3Fdata%3D*USA01489
55°
H 55° L 32°
Partly Cloudy | 9MPH

New Berlin advised to scrap dispatch center, join joint service

Consultant to present report on joining Waukesha County Communications Center to save money

March 12, 2012

New Berlin - A consultant is recommending that the city disband its dispatch center and use the Waukesha County Communications Center to handle calls for police and fire, a move the consultant says would save New Berlin and its taxpayers nearly $9 million over 10 years.

The consultant, Springsted Inc. of Milwaukee, is scheduled to present its report to aldermen and Mayor Jack Chiovatero at the Common Council meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

No decision will be made at the meeting, city officials said.

The city has been looking for ways to save money and hired Springsted to evaluate the city's options for dispatching police and fire calls.

The county's joint dispatch center began operations in 2004 and handles calls in 29 communities in Waukesha County. At the time the joint center was being created, New Berlin decided not to join, in part because the city had recently built a new public safety building that included a new dispatch center.

Springsted noted in its 44-page report that although the city operates its own dispatch center, New Berlin residents also help fund the operation of the county's center through annual property taxes they pay to the county. This year, city residents are paying $458,823 toward the county's center, the study says.

The city would have to pay a one-time buy-in fee of about $400,000 to join the county dispatch system, but there are no annual fees after that, according to a letter city Police Chief Joe Rieder distributed last week.

Rieder on Monday declined to comment about the study, saying he wanted to wait until after Tuesday's presentation.

The study notes that keeping its own dispatch center is a viable option for New Berlin. But it says the city will have to make a significant investment in the years ahead, including upgrading technology and adding staff. Some of the equipment is at or near the end of its life span, the study notes.

In 2014, the city will have to spend about $830,000 for equipment, including the next-generation 911 system. The study projects the city having to spend slightly more than $1 million for upgrades in 2022.

The city has 12 dispatchers and has budgeted nearly $1 million this year for dispatching operations.

"Obviously, I would - we all would - really like to keep our dispatch," Chiovatero said. "Our switch to WCC would pretty much be a financial issue. I honestly don't have a solid opinion yet. I'm waiting to see what the discussion is. If we decide to stay with our people - it's always preferred to do that - I need a commitment from council that they're willing to spend this money and willing to support it."

Tuesday's presentation in New Berlin has attracted interest from Waukesha officials, who are in the early stages of considering whether a move to countywide dispatch services could save the city money.

Waukesha's Finance Committee and other members of the Common Council plan to attend the New Berlin session Tuesday night, according to agendas for both. 

While New Berlin hired a consultant to study the issue, members of the Waukesha Finance Committee and Police Department so far have been looking into the issue on their own. Earlier this year, the Waukesha Finance Committee toured the county communications center as well as Waukesha's dispatch center.

Laurel Walker of the Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report.

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.


Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Businesswomen win New Berlin Chamber of Commerce top honors 4/22

» Hot franchise group coming to New Berlin 4/21

» Diamond Stone headlines 2014-15 All-Suburban Boys Basketball team 4/13

» Tornado watch in effect 4/9

» Muskego Area Chamber of Commerce honors pair of businesses 4/9

» Waukesha man charged in crash at New Berlin Animal Hospital 4/9

» 2015 Milwaukee suburbs election roundup Updated:  4/8

» Paul Farrow elected Waukesha County exec; Van De Water out as judge 4/7

» Waukesha man charged after chase, crash into animal hospital Updated:  4/7

» Business as usual, despite vehicle slamming into animal hospital 4/7

» Driver crashes into New Berlin animal clinic, ending early morning high speed pursuit 4/7

» Elementary principal named in Muskego-Norway School District 4/6

» 2014-15 All-Suburban Girls Basketball Team named 4/1

» Incumbent judge faces challenge from young lawyer in Waukesha County 3/31

» New Berlin planners to hold month of input sessions about future of remainiing rural sections 3/26

» The Sprint Episode Three: WIAA state basketball tournament retrospective 3/23

» Muskego-Norway assistant superintendent chooses return to classroom 3/19

» Principal named for Muskego High School 3/18

» Neufeldt achieved dreams with grit, grace and a big heart 3/18

» The Sprint Episode Two: local teams look to defend state basketball titles this week 3/16

» Muskego officials updated on potential closing of popular boat launch 3/4

» Muskego may close popular Little Muskego Lake boat launch 3/2

» New Berlin to pay $275,000 settlement to former HR director 2/20

» Complaint: Former New Berlin West basketball coach busted after police find pot in his school office 2/20

» Muskego-Norway School District to move middle school start time back 2/19

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Advertisement

Advertisement

Local Business Directory

CONNECT    

Most Popular