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Central dispatch nearly a reality

County Legislature approves UCC plan, Glenville super voices support

Plotterkill Fire Department Chief and County Fire Advisory Board Chairman John Tobiassen talks to Schenectady County Legislature Chairwoman Judith Dagostino on Tuesday, July 10, after the county approved a central dispatch plan.

Plotterkill Fire Department Chief and County Fire Advisory Board Chairman John Tobiassen talks to Schenectady County Legislature Chairwoman Judith Dagostino on Tuesday, July 10, after the county approved a central dispatch plan. Photo by John Purcell.

— Koetzle said he received the new proposal on Friday, July 6, and town officials reviewed it over the weekend and recently met with public safety officials in the community.

“It has been a long process. Over the years, I think we have made this a better product because we have pointed out some concerns,” Koetzle said.

The plan is estimated to save the city $195,000, Glenville more than $160,000, Niskayuna around $115,000 and Rotterdam nearly $160,000. The towns of Duanesburg and Princetown would pay a flat fee annually that increases annually for the first four years.

Once Glenville is removed from the equation, the savings drop, with the city receiving $77,000, less than half of what it would have, Niskayuna lowered to around $80,000 and Rotterdam saving about $110,000.

County Legislator Anthony Jasenski, D-Rotterdam, said although the savings without Glenville aren’t as great, it would still be worth pursuing. Jasenski said he was “hopeful” Glenville would support the agreement.

The cost sharing percentage would remain flat among Schenectady (46.91 percent), Glenville (19.74 percent), Niskayuna (14.16 percent) and Rotterdam (19.19 percent) for the first four years. Upon the fifth year, the cost sharing would be reevaluated based on figures from the first four years.

Koetzle said he doesn’t like the methodology of spreading cost but was pleased to see the county is willing to give it a second look after implementation.

“If you wait for a perfect solution from the government, you will be waiting a long time, so we are going to go with the best option we have,” Koetzle said, “and I think working together as a county is the best option we have.”

Jasenski said having one dispatch center allows for information to be known by all parties in an emergency situation.

The county has pushed to reach an agreement after receiving a $1 million grant from the state to implement the plan, but funds are set to expire in March 2013.

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