911 Call Center Dispute Makes New Haven Officials Nervous

By Jeff Neumeyer

November 14, 2013 Updated Nov 14, 2013 at 6:31 PM EDT

NEW HAVEN, Ind. (21ALIVE) --- Allen County government officials and the City of New Haven are at odds over how that city will pay for upgrades to its 911 emergency call center.

It also includes a dispute over how increased user fees from land line and cell phone customers should be divvied up for 911 purposes.

New Haven officials would argue that the viability of its call center hangs in the balance.

New Haven handles its own 911 reports and takes rollover calls when the Fort Wayne center gets too busy.

But police officials in New Haven say they need to spend more than $100,000 for more modern equipment to stay in synch with the Fort Wayne center.

The police chief says fees charged to land line and cell phone customers have nearly doubled, but that New Haven's cut of the money, a little more than $48,000 a year, has not been boosted.

" We feel we're entitled to those monies, and we haven't seen an increase since the law was changed, I believe it was July of last year, increasing the fees. We're still receiving the same amount we received prior to that," said Chief Steve Poiry.

" If there's an adjustment that needs to be made, up or down or static, to the $48,400, of course. Again, you have to have a dialogue and approach," said Allen County Commissioner Therese Brown, who claims there's a better strategy for New Haven to pursue in the short run, to try and get the money it needs for its call center upgrades.

She says New Haven needs to go to Allen County Council and ask for funds, because county council is the agency that has control of the phone user fees.

Brown believes Hew Haven has wrongly focused on getting cash from a partnership that runs the Fort Wayne call center, which she claims is not responsible.

But there's no guarantee county council will cough up the cash either.

The clock is running on getting a solution, as the upgrades basically need to be done by mid-January to keep the New Haven call center from becoming obsolete

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