Funding formula sticking point for dispatch center

Local fire departments are concerned they might have to reduce staff in order to help pay for the yearly costs for a single county emergency dispatch center.

Taxpayers also could face tax increases if local governments have to raise rates to pay for the service, local officials said.

Johnson County Council members want to have one dispatch center located in the sheriff’s office basement and are asking each city, town and fire district to pay part of the annual operating costs based on the population those groups serve.

The county is trying to meet a Jan. 1, 2015, deadline to combine the county’s five 911 dispatch centers run by the sheriff’s office and police departments in Franklin, Greenwood, New Whiteland and Edinburgh. The four departments that have a dispatch center will save money each year by not having to maintain their own staff and offices, according to a report from financial firm H.J. Umbaugh and Associates.

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