Citizens For A Better Norwood

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Norwood Dispatch on the chopping block?

With only 16 days left for City Council to pass the 2011 budget, Finance Committee Chairperson Victor Schneider said during last night’s committee meeting that he had not heard back from either Mayor Williams or the unions regarding concessions such as going to a 36-hour work week and staffing the police and fire departments at less than a full complement. Nor had he heard back from Mayor Williams about the possibility of contracting with Hamilton County for our local 3rd shift dispatch. Without any new numbers to work with, Mr. Schneider stated the committee could no longer assume the $1.9 million dollar hole left in the budget had been plugged.

Mr. Schneider went on to say he had called an official with the Hamilton County Dispatch to discuss contracting our entire dispatch department, which currently costs in excess of $600,000 per year. The estimate he was given was approximately $266,000, which was based on Hamilton County charging $17.05 per dispatch event regardless of how many subsequent dispatches are made for the same event. Hamilton County would not charge for their first year of service. The City would be able to use that savings for any equipment that might be needed to make the transition. Mr. Schneider said the savings would be in the vicinity of $400,000 for the year. He stressed that proposed cuts are still in the talking stages until tonight's special council meeting when contract negotiations will be discussed.