The city of Grandview Heights will join with other municipalities to apply for grants to fund feasibility studies focused on shared dispatching services and an employee benefit consortium.

The city of Grandview Heights will join with other municipalities to apply for grants to fund feasibility studies focused on shared dispatching services and an employee benefit consortium.

City council approved resolutions April 9 to authorize the city's participation in the applications for money from the Ohio Department of Development's Local Government Innovation Fund.

Grandview will not have any out-of-pocket costs related to the match requirements for the applications. In both cases, the city will instead make a 20-percent in-kind contribution in the form of city services and staff time.

Grandview will join Sharon and Franklin townships and the villages of Minerva Park and Valleyview to apply for a $50,000 grant to fund a study of whether a small municipality such as Grandview can provide dispatching services for other small entities, Police Chief David Wood said.

Grandview is interested in investigating whether it could provide dispatching services for other areas, he said.

The city may have the capacity to provide dispatching services for other small communities with the new radio system it purchased after a lightning strike knocked out its previous radio system last summer, he said.

The new system has two channels, which makes Grandview "unique," Wood said.

Depending on how many communities would sign up to receive the dispatching services and their size, Grandview could potentially complete all dispatching on one channel or use the second channel to provide the additional service, Wood said.

In addition to studying whether such an arrangement could work in general, he said the study would also help determine whether Grandview would be able to handle dispatching for multiple jurisdictions in the physical space of its dispatching room.

"It may be that a smaller jurisdiction could be better served if another small community is providing its dispatching services," he said.

One result of the study may be the creation of a template for a shared dispatching arrangement that could be used as a model throughout the state, Wood said.

The four partners in the grant application would not necessarily be potential partners in a joint dispatching arrangement with Grandview, but are interested in finding out if a multi-jurisdiction agreement could work, he said.

Minerva Park, for example, is likely located too far away from Grandview to receive dispatching service, Wood said.

Council also approved a resolution authorizing the city to join with other entities to seek a $60,000 grant to study the feasibility of a consortium to provide dental, vision and life insurance benefits for employees.

Grandview's partners in this grant application are expected to be Violet, Orange, Franklin, Prairie and Perry townships, the village of Johnstown and the city of Heath, Director of Finance Bob Dvoraczky said. Each entity must approve a resolution of support by April 30 to join in the application, he said.

The idea is that a consortium of communities could see substantial savings in insurance costs, Dvoraczky said.

Franklin, Fairfield and Pickaway counties have partnered in a health insurance consortium and have seen sizable savings, he said.