By MELINDA WILLIAMS
The town of Dublin will stay with the “status quo” and remain a “sub-member” when area 911 dispatching services are merged.
“I think it would be best to stay a sub-member and make the best out of a situation we were forced into,” Dublin Mayor Benny Skeens said of a Joint 911 Communications Center Agreement Dublin Town Council was asked to act on Thursday night.
By remaining a “sub-member” instead of a “full voting member” under the agreement, Dublin council is hoping to spare the town a doubling of the fee it currently pays Pulaski County for dispatching services.
Town Manager Bill Parker said it became clear early in discussions about the merger that “this was going to be a high-stakes card game.” The town currently pays $40,000 a year for dispatching services, but that would increase to $87,430 annually to become a full voting member.
Parker said he hasn’t been able to get a figure for the town’s cost as a sub-member of the merged dispatch, but he doesn’t anticipate much change from the current cost.
“I can’t see what would change,” said Councilman Dallas Cox. “It seems the status quo would be adequate.”
Noting that he is leery of authorities, Skeens said he sees no benefit in becoming a voting member since the town of Dublin most likely would end up getting out-voted on everything by virtue of its small size.
Referring to the fact the joint dispatch center will be overseen by a newly created director position, Skeens called it a “waste of money” since the county dispatching center has been under the direction of the sheriff or his staff for years.
Skeens said he doubts the director position comes cheaply.
In a 5-0-1 vote, Council approved Cox’s motion to remain a sub-member under the condition there is no significant change in the town’s fee. Councilman Steve Crigger was absent.