Perry's cost for dispatch to spike $15,000

Mar. 14—PERRY TOWNSHIP — Allen County Commissioners met with the Perry Township Trustees, Allen County EMA and the Allen County Sheriff's Department to discuss the dispatching services of Perry Township on Tuesday morning.

The township currently receives services from the Allen County Sheriff's department which answers their 911 calls. Allen County Commissioners made a change to the cost of the service. Perry Township previously paid $18,000 and will now pay $33,000 for services according to Perry Township Board of Trustee member Greg Kessen. Allen County Commissioners made the arrangement in May of last year following multiple meetings with the Township. The entities met today to discuss how they plan to move forward.

"That is a good portion of our budget," said Kessen. "We had just increased our budget for labor costs for the next five years trying to stay competitive and keep people employed in our township. There is a substantial difference overall per resident throughout the county and that brings me concern as well as how the numbers came about per township and per entities involved."

Allen County Commissioner Cory Noonan shared the services provided and the reason for the increase.

"We maintained what the county was paying for 911 and dispatch," said Noonan. "There were four dispatchers for the contracted entities. Those four dispatchers' salaries did not equate to what the contracted entities were paying. Now we had to come up with some type of equation. There was an influence of calls for service. We looked at assigning a dispatcher to Delphos and Bluffton. A percentage of a dispatcher to the top three entities then Perry fell below that. It is below what we equated to a full-time person."

Noonan said American Township, Delphos and Bluffton were attributed to a dispatcher; Perry, Bath and other townships will receive services from one dispatcher.

"At one time the sheriff joined us at one of these meetings and he said that the dispatch will take the calls that are dispatched and I agree wholeheartedly with that," said Brian Winegardner, Allen County commissioner. "That is one of our obligations. I feel that is our obligation to set aside any differences anyone has and we take care of the citizens."

Reach Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.