Montgomery police chief recommends signing on with KenCom dispatch
By Judy Pochel For The Beacon-News February 26, 2013 11:06AM
Updated: February 26, 2013 12:38PM
MONTGOMERY — Residents in the village of Montgomery could be calling Yorkville when they need help if trustees vote to move the police-dispatching center out of town.
The Police Department has been receiving an estimated $200,000 a year in revenue for providing emergency dispatch services for other communities. But Sugar Grove officials recently notified the village of their intent to severe the relationship, ending a revenue source and prompting officials to study the cost and efficiency of maintaining their own emergency dispatch center.
Chief Dan Meyers reviewed various options for trustees this week, but said he would recommend they partner with the Kendall County dispatch service KenCom, based in Yorkville.
“This will be an education process for our residents,” Meyers said.
“We also have to discuss our non-emergency phones. It may be a challenge to have staff available to answer that phone call,” said Meyers.
Trustees were moved by the show of support from the dispatchers who were seated in the front row during the meeting. “Are dispatchers in our area down?” Trustee Denny Lee asked about the number of dispatchers.
“We met with staff on Friday and although we cannot guarantee them any jobs, Aurora is down, KenCom is down. Dispatching is a tough job and there is a demand for dispatchers,” Meyers said.
“We haven’t made any concrete decisions yet but my concern is for the employees that we have and their loyalty,” Mayor Marilyn Michelini said.
Meyers noted there are other factors that led to the recommendation to end the village’s own emergency dispatch service. He said it would cost about $450,000 to upgrade the current system. He also said his own study showed the village will save $300,000 to $500,000 over the next few years by joining with KenCom.
Water main hearing
Trustees also heard a report regarding the recent open house in Boulder Hill to discuss the $8.2 million water main replacement project.
Public Works Director Mike Pubentz said more than 70 people attended the event and were able to speak to village staff and project engineers.
He said many residents questioned the longevity of the estimated $15 additional monthly fee, and explained the fee would continue for the length of the bond used to fund the project.
“I went in there thinking there were going to be some pretty heated discussions, I was surprised with the acceptance of the people I talked to,” said Trustee Bill Keck.
“A few senior citizens questioned a discount for them as they are living entirely on social security,” said Michelini.
The board will vote on the final approval for the project as well as a funding program over the next few months. Once those items are approved, work is scheduled to begin in June.