by Kim Hynes
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
9:45 AM CST, January 26, 2011
(SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan.)
Sedgwick County will soon dispatch 911 calls for Derby and Haysville. The county commission voted Wednesday to take over those operations for the two cities.
Sedgwick County already operates an emergency management center for 16 cities in the county. The center is funded through county property taxes and phone taxes. Up until now, Derby has operated its own call centers for police and fire calls. Haysville has operated a call center for police calls. These call centers came with an additional expense to their citizens. After hiring a consultant, the two cities determined it would save money and improve service if the systems were consolidated.
The county agreed to make the change starting in January of 2012. To provide the additional service 24 hours a day seven days a week, the county will create five new full-time positions. It will shuffle around some existing positions to make up three of those new jobs. It will hire another two people for the cost of $92,000. Haysville and Derby requested the people who lose their jobs in town be considered for the new positions.
Haysville and Derby will not be charged anything to consolidate. The county says it already provides this service to a number of communities and Haysville and Derby deserve the same treatment.
The consultants report says Derby will save about $244,000 per year with the change. It would result in eliminating 4.5 positions with the city. Haysville's savings is smaller. The consultant estimates it will save just under $40,000 a year. Haysville will not have to cut any positions.
Commissioner Tim Norton says in the end this is a win for taxpayers. He says while it will cost the county more money, it will save Haysville and Derby money which helps citizens. He says right now technology is constantly changing and Sedgwick County has a state of the art call center. He says it's expensive and time consuming for other communities to duplicate the service.
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