News : City Seeks 911 Dispatch Merger with Columbus
Upper Arlington, OH, USA, February, 2015 -- Upper Arlington will seek to consolidate its emergency dispatching services with the city of Columbus by Jan. 1, 2017.
Upper Arlington City Council voted 6-0 Feb. 23, with Councilman John C. Adams absent, to authorize City Manager Ted Staton to enter into negotiations with Columbus for 911 dispatching services.
The move represents a significant step for Upper Arlington, which for several years has discussed merging its 911 dispatching services with other communities to cut costs and to enhance the local response to emergency calls from cellphones.
It also appears to have eliminated consideration of mergers with call centers in Dublin and Westerville, which previously had been studied.
Aside from comments from Councilman David DeCapua, who said the proposed merger with Columbus would better position the city to keep pace with rapidly changing technologies and allow it to rein in 911 dispatching costs, council approved the resolution to negotiate without comment.
However, council members and city staff members discussed the issue at length during a Feb. 17 conference session.
At that time, Assistant City Manager Dan Ralley said Upper Arlington wants to consolidate its 911 dispatching services because its current call center cannot receive calls directly from mobile telephone users, and because the city hopes to avoid the "full costs" of technology upgrades that will be required to operate a center.
Additionally, Ralley said the city hopes to achieve "long-term operational savings."
"Over the last couple of months, we've had increasingly intensive discussions with Columbus," he said, adding that a merger with Columbus would represent "significant, long-term cost savings" for Upper Arlington.
Ralley said Jan. 1, 2017 would be "the timeline for transitioning services."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, March 2, 2015