CROWN POINT | Lake County Commissioner Gerry Scheub said he will publicly unveil a leaner, cheaper plan for consolidating emergency 911 communications next week.
"I think it will save the taxpayers $6 million," Scheub said Wednesday.
He declined to detail his plan, but hinted he wants only one call center, to be located inside the Lake County Government Center, to avoid the cost of renovating and equipping two new emergency call centers in East Chicago and Hobart. That proposal could have cost as much as $30 million.
Scheub said he is confident all police and fire departments now operating separate E-911 dispatch offices will agree eventually to such a proposal because of the potential savings. "We wouldn't have to pay for rent or more utilities," Scheub said.
He said an existing police dispatch operation could be designated as a back-up facility if the Crown Point operation were taken down by a disaster.
The police and fire advisory committee is set to meet at 9 a.m. Oct. 25 in Crown Point for a formal presentation.
The state has mandated Lake County merge its separate E-911 operations by the end of 2014 or the state will deny the county $2.4 million in telephone user fees generated by county residents.
County taxpayers collectively shell out $8 million each year to pay the salaries of dispatchers in town, city and county police departments, which handle hundreds of thousands of calls for assistance annually.