COLUMBIA CITY — With reports of future expenses, Whitley County’s Commissioners discussed the idea of merging dispatch centers with the city.
No formal vote or action was called for at Monday’s meeting, however the three discussed a concern with cost and efficiency related to the county having a dispatch center and Columbia City having a separate one.
“If we are really interested in saving money, we should look into this,” said Commissioner Tom Rethlake.
Commissioner Chairman George Schrumpf noted several surrounding counties — including Kosciusko, Huntington and Allen have done it.
“Combining the city and county dispatches would not require new equipment, it would be moving personnel around,” Schrumpf said.
This discussion came on the heels of the commissioners being informed earlier in the month that dispatch equipment would have to be replaced at the Sheriff’s Department. The price tag for the change was approximately $266,000.
After the sheriff informed the commissioners and the county council of this need, the question of why the county had its own dispatch center apart from Columbia City was asked.
“We need to forget the egos of these departments and do what’s best for the taxpayers,” said County Councilman Jim Bayman.
Commissioner Don Amber said both being in one location would make more sense from a work standpoint too.
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