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New Franklin approves dispatch agreement with Green

Carolynn Mostyn
Suburbanite correspondent

NEW FRANKLIN  During the Sept. 16 New Franklin City Council meeting, an ordinance was approved for the city to enter into an agreement with the City of Green to create a Regional Council of Governments (COG) for sharing services and to create a public safety dispatch center.

The legislation is going through the process of three reads in Green City Council with the final read being Oct. 13. If approved in Green, the COG could be ready to operate sometime in November. The communities are working on bylaws.

Mayor for New Franklin Paul Adamson said with the formation of the COG, it would be a new political entity. A board would be formed to oversee the entity that would be made up of the two mayors, and the operations of the dispatch services would be overseen by the fire and police chiefs of both cities.

In the agreement, Green would pay about 60 percent of costs and New Franklin would be responsible for the remaining 40 percent. Emergency calls would be directed to New Franklin police and fire as opposed to going through Summit County saving time.

Staffing has recently become an issue because of budget constraints for New Franklin. It is expected that melding with Green would be a cost savings move. The service is anticipated to cost $520,000 a year. Currently the dispatching costs to New Franklin are $630,000. If the plan is realized, New Franklin could save about $100,000 a year. Adamson said they have projected high on the costs.

“There will be no difference in the service,” Adamson said.

Fire Chief Steve Leslie said it is something officials have been working on for about 10 years and added that the operating costs will be split and become cost savings. He said it will also save time by eliminating a step when someone makes an emergency call. 

Police Chief Daniel Davidson said a change in regulations requires two dispatchers and due to a lack of dispatchers, it has caused overtime costs. 

Councilmen Jim Cotts and Andrew Fetterman had concerns about the merger and jobs for current dispatchers.

Current dispatchers with New Franklin will have an opportunity to apply for dispatching openings.

“It will be open in the sense that anyone could apply,” said Adamson.

Fetterman, however, said it bothers him that they can’t guarantee employment.

Announcements:

• Paving is expected to begin on South Main Street.

• New Franklin will allow trick-or-treat in the city with social distance regulations however, Summit County Public Health discourages trunk-or-treat and schools and groups holding events. If you want to participate, leave your porch light on.

• A traffic control study will be conducted at the intersection of Vanderhoof and Kungle.  Once completed, a stop sign will be installed to create a four-way stop. Approximate cost will be $4,800.

• Funds in the amount of approximately $800,000 have been received from the CARES Act. The city is still awaiting direction on how these funds may be applied, with hopes of applying as payroll replacement.

• Spectrum will be expanding service to residents currently unable to receive service, approximately 30 homes will benefit from this service.

• The city is working on scheduling events at Tudor House for next year. Phase I would consist of building a pavilion and Phase II would consist of a Four Seasons Room.