New Haven Call Center Funding Still Not Settled (VIDEO)

By Jeff Neumeyer

November 21, 2013 Updated Nov 21, 2013 at 6:08 PM EST

NEW HAVEN, Ind. (21ALIVE) --- Upgrading the City of New Haven's emergency call center, who will pay the bill?

New Haven officials made a plea Thursday to Allen County Council, asking for money to get their dispatch equipment in synch with the main call center in downtown Fort Wayne.

County council is not exactly racing to get its wallet out.

Council officially tabled the money request until next month's meeting.

But the president of county council is suggesting New Haven might have to foot the bill for the upgrades by itself.

About $105,000 is what New Haven officials are trying to come up with to purchase more modern equipment for their center.

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

New Haven needs to make upgrades by mid-January, or be out of step with the county’s main center.

" If this is something where we have to take perhaps some rainy day monies and, you know, use those for this cost and then get reimbursed those 911 dollars at a later date from the county, I mean, I think that's possible," said Steve Poiry, New Haven’s Police Chief.

"We still have a dispatch center that we have to run and those monies need to be available for that and upgrades down the future, so at this point I'm struggling to find a reason for that to be in existence," said Darren Vogt, County Council President.

Vogt believes his position, that New Haven should fund its own call center needs, is the majority one on council, by a slim margin.

New Haven officials think shutting them out of the money would be an injustice.

The community’s leaders argue fees charged to land line and cell phone customers have nearly doubled, that those fees apply to New Haven residents too, but that New Haven's cut of the money hasn't been boosted.

County council is set to take up the matter again December 19th.




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