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More reasons found for Brown Deer to delay dispatch call

Bayside ordering new equipment soon

May 4, 2011

Brown Deer — In or out? Trustees in a 4-2-1 split, voted no Monday night on a resolution to move dispatching services to Bayside but plan to continue discussing the move once they receive more information.

Two new cost comparisons and a review of the capabilities of the village dispatch center highlighted the meeting.

In the meantime, representatives of the other six North Shore communities and the North Shore Fire Department are meeting weekly to work on the design of the dispatch center addition, to be built in Bayside. The department and the other municipalities have already agreed to contract with Bayside for dispatching services.

Bayside Village Manager Andy Pederson said the village plans to go to bid in June or July.

"We want Brown Deer to be part of this, but the cost for them will likely go up if they decide after we go to bid," Pederson said.

Pederson said Brown Deer would likely be charged for additional equipment costs if the village decides to join the center after orders are placed for equipment.

Pitch to keep center

Police Capt. John Graeber made the case for Brown Deer's dispatch center, saying that it was up to date except for two areas, a caller ID function on the phones and wireless 911 capability. Graeber said the caller ID/location function would be corrected by an upgrade to phones.

The village capital budget has included a phone upgrade for both Village Hall and the Police Station for a number of years.

As to wireless 911, the department could add that service with a $5,600 purchase, he said.

Graeber's 95-minute presentation included a testimonial from two people who sought refuge in the department lobby after being followed by a car in Milwaukee. Police Chief Steve Rinzel said having a staffed dispatch center in Brown Deer provided a safety net after hours.

The building is locked after regular business hours, but people can gain access by ringing a doorbell. The dispatcher then buzzes them into the lobby area and calls a police officer in an instance like a car chase.

Although not discussed, Bayside can provide that same service to the village from the Bayside center, Bayside Village Manager Andy Pederson said the following day.

Graeber also said the Bayside plan calls for sharing radio channels with the Fox Point, Bayside and River Hills departments. Acknowledging that the department shared channels prior to a countywide radio change, Graeber said the department would prefer to have its own dedicated channels.

Information 'inconsistent'

Trustee Tim Schilz, who voted against consolidation, said the board would like to have representatives from both villages present to answer the board's questions about issues such as lobby access.

"We have received inconsistent numbers and inconsistent technology information with regard to our department versus what Bayside can do," Schilz said. "There is a need for additional technology vetting."

The cost for moving to Bayside was another issue. Bayside has offered to dispatch for $344,306, plus a first year capital cost of $377,087.

Manager finds new costs

Village Manager Russell Van Gompel threw an additional $76,800 cost into the mix Monday night. He said that would be the cost to disconnect the Brown Deer equipment and make connections to Bayside. Van Gompel's latest analysis of the costs shows a $5,856 savings to the village in the first year.

Van Gompel said that it may make sense to move dispatch on the operational side, but there is a difficulty on the capital side.

"This is a (ultimately) a political and service delivery policy discussion," Van Gompel said. "When I look at it, it does not make sense numbers wise."

Village President Carl Krueger, working with resident Tom Conlin, updated the numbers provided in a report by consultant RW Management. Conlin found mistakes in the initial report. The report was corrected after the discovery.

Using 2012 salary and benefit numbers, the update shows a savings of $654,634 over 10 years, or a monthly savings of $6,061.

Closed session not opened

The board had a loud and lively closed session discussion, at times clearly heard by a reporter and two residents waiting in the lobby. After the closed session, and without opening the doors for those who were waiting, the board took the vote, with trustees Robert Oates, Gary Springman, Jeff Baker and Schilz opposed, Krueger and Trustee Terry Boschert for, and Trustee Andrea Weddle-Henning abstaining.

Krueger and Schilz expect the discussion to continue, although the specifics of what happens next were not clear on Tuesday.

"This (move) will happen because as a community of our size we can't continue to invest in manpower and new technology," Schilz said.

Because Schilz voted against the resolution, he can ask for it to be placed back on the agenda.

"What we want to happen is for staff to bring together people who can answer our questions," he said.

Whether that will happen before Bayside goes to bid on the project remains to be seen.

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