DYER | Despite lingering questions about money, the Dyer Town Council on Monday approved the consolidated E-911 agreement.
Town Council member Jeff Dekker said before voting that he’d prefer to see how much the agreement is eventually going to cost Dyer in terms of radio equipment.
The agreement requires Dyer to close its emergency services dispatch center by Dec. 31, 2014, and merge into a single countywide communications network.
The final agreement submitted to Lake County communities stipulates that each will buy its own radios and give over a specified portion of its levy to support consolidated dispatch.
Dyer Police Chief David Hein and Fire Chief Thad Stutler said both departments likely will need 50 hand-held radios and 50 vehicle radios. There is no way to know what that will cost Dyer until the county negotiates a price with prospective vendors.
Most Lake County communities have signed on to the agreement, Town Council President Joe Cinko said.
“I don’t think that making a stand with one agency” would make a difference at this point, he said.
“It makes us look cautious” with taxpayers’ money, Dekker said.
Communities will not know what they will pay for radio equipment before the end of the January, Town Attorney Bill Enslen said. Depending on the type of bids the county obtains from vendors, the town could end up paying several hundred thousand dollars.
The state has mandated a consolidated dispatch, said Cinko, who is also a Dyer police officer.
“This is the best agreement we do have and possibly the only one we'll have through 2014,” Cinko said.
All 17 cities and towns that still operate independent police and fire dispatch centers must approve the same interlocal agreement to make consolidated E-911 possible.