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Towns approve central dispatch

Local officials express reservations with support for consolidation plan

— Local officials have heeded the county’s call to approve a central dispatch proposal after more than 20 years of deliberations.

The town boards in Rotterdam, Glenville and Niskayuna recently approved the proposed central dispatch plan, in respective order, after momentum was created by the Schenectady County Legislature. The agreement will establish a Unified Communications Center, which would house all dispatchers in one building at an undetermined location. Several local officials touted the plan as a way to enhance safety while creating savings.

Schenectady County Legislator Antony Jasenski, who has presented the agreement to municipal officials, said the Duanesburg Town Board approved the plan on Thursday, July 12. The Princetown Town Board will vote on the proposal at its Tuesday, Aug. 14, meeting, according to Jasenski, which is the final approval needed.

Glenville was the only town that raised question of approving the plan, so county officials included two scenarios in the agreement — with or without the town.

The all-Republican Glenville board unanimously approved the plan, with some reservations, on Wednesday, July 18, after county concessions made the plan more palatable.

Glenville officials have voiced concerns with previous versions of the plan in recent years. County officials last August said the central dispatch plan would proceed without Glenville, but the two entered negotiations again.

“This has been a long time in the making and we have been on again, off again in discussions with the county,” Glenville Supervisor Christopher Koetzle said. “There are some things we have to take on faith. There are some things we think we were able to improve and make it a better proposal.”

Koetzle said having more authority given to the UCC Municipal Oversight Committee was an important change to the plan. The Oversight Committee will be comprised of supervisors and mayors from each municipality and contribution levels will weight voting. It will establish UCC goals and approve operational changes, purchases and staffing, along with developing the budget.

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