Worthington City Council on Monday, May 20, could approve a recommendation to enter into a contract with the city of Dublin to provide 911-dispatching services from the Northwest Regional Emergency Communications Center, according to its meeting agenda.
The staff recommendation for the measure is “to introduce and approve as presented,” the agenda said.
The NRECC is operated by Dublin and serves the cities of Dublin, Hilliard and Upper Arlington and Norwich and Washington townships, according to Robyn Stewart, Worthington’s assistant city manager.
According to city documents, the recommendation to join the NRECC was made after an an analysis conducted by Stewart, Worthington Division of Police Chief Jerry Strait, Worthington Division of Fire & EMS Chief John Bailot and Assistant Chief Mark Zambito, Worthington City Manager Matt Greeson, Finance Director Scott Bartter and Personnel Director Lori Trego.
City spokeswoman Anne Brown, Greeson and Stewart said the recommendation was based on many factors, which include the challenges of keeping up with technology and providing a high level of service.
A presentation that included the analysis was given to City Council on April 8. Stewart said city leaders started looking at the issue in 2013 and participated in a consolidation feasibility study by L.R. Kimball, a consulting firm, with Dublin, Hilliard, Upper Arlington and Norwich and Washington townships.
Worthington has operated a communications center at the police station at 6555 Worthington Galena Road with six full-time and seven part-time dispatchers, Stewart said.
The cost of operating the local communications center in 2020 is expected to be about $1.5 million, the analysis said. The total 2018 costs were almost $1.36 million.
According to the analysis, the NRECC’s operating budget for 2020 is projected to be just over $1.7 million.
Greeson and Stewart said if the move were to occur, it would not be a fast process and would take place over the course of about a year.
Greeson said the city would have to enter into an agreement with the NRECC, and the services would be transitioned in summer to early fall 2020. Stewart said the NRECC would have to hire eight staff members.
According to the analysis, the cost of joining the NRECC is expected to be “in the range” of about $1.2 million after the first year of transition. This would include $800,000 for the NRECC to provide services, $220,000 for administrative-support positions and one-time costs of $550,000 anticipated for software modifications, changes to the entrance of the Worthington police station, a kiosk to process mayor’s-court payments after hours and a new alerting system for the fire station, according to the analysis.
The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. inside the Worthington Municipal Building, 6550 High St.