Agreement alters dispatcher funding
by The Press and Standard | June 29, 2018 5:00 pm
Last Updated: June 27, 2018 at 11:32 am
The governments of Walterboro and Colleton County and the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office are entering into an agreement that alters the city’s funding in the operation of the E-911 Emergency Dispatch Center.
City council gave approval to the agreement at a special meeting on June 21 and Colleton County Council signed on during its June 26 session.
The city has been paying the salaries and fringe benefits for four dispatchers, whose primary duty has been to handle the calls for assistance within the city limits.
Under the terms of the agreement, the city would no longer be responsible for costs of having the four dispatchers.
Instead, it would pay the county $162,000 annually to have the city’s emergency dispatching handled by the county 9-1-1 center, which operates as part of the sheriff’s office.
The city would also be responsible for paying the county an additional $13,000 in the first year of the agreement, which is to take affect at the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.
Should there be a need to increase the city’s payment, any increase would be limited to the consumer price index.
Walterboro City Manager Jeff Molinari explained that the annual payment to the county, which can be made quarterly, is equal to the amount the city has been paying for the four dispatchers’ wages and fringe benefits.
The agreement will give the county and the sheriff’s office sole responsibility for dispatch services. If the city becomes dissatisfied with the quality of dispatch services, a meeting would be held between the three parties involved in the agreement to make a good faith effort to solve the concerns.
Molinari said the “city and county have been moving towards a more consolidated system.” Hopefully, he added, the changes contained in the agreement will “streamline operations.”