The Grundy County Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB) is having discussions with Seneca police, fire and EMS, as well as Braidwood police, about handling their dispatch services.
The 9-1-1 Executive Committee of the ETSB met in a special meeting Thursday and approved a recommendation for the ETSB to move forward on discussions with the Seneca agencies. Any decisions on the amount of fees the Seneca parties will pay will go back to the executive committee.
The committee took no action regarding Braidwood, but discussed the possibility of it joining as well.
Seneca currently has its own dispatch center, said Sheriff Terry Marketti, but it is in the process of moving into a new police department and will not be moving the dispatch center into it.
Braidwood police are looking for a cheaper rate than they have with WESCOM, he said. The discussions with Braidwood are very preliminary. Chris Kindelspire, director of electronic operations, will be meeting with Braidwood officials to discuss infrastructure next week and the committee should know more in a month.
Marketti said he gave Seneca officials a "ballpark" estimate of what the dispatch services could cost, but he did not share that number publicly with the committee and would not comment on it after the meeting, stating the agencies had to discuss it with their board first.
Seneca's administrators did ask Marketti if the Grundy ETSB could take on some of Seneca's dispatchers, said Marketti, but he told them ETSB was not in need of new staff right now.
Calls to Seneca officials were not returned by press time.
Marketti said later it was not known if, with Seneca's calls, dispatch would need more personnel and that couldn't be known until Seneca police, fire and EMS were on board.
"The amount of money we generate from them can help offset future expenses for dispatch services," Marketti said.
Marketti said any contributions from Seneca agencies or Braidwood police would not change the current amount of contributions from the 13 other agencies because those numbers have been set for the next three years. But the numbers will change in the long run.