The Riverside Village Board took the next step toward creating a joint emergency dispatch center with the Village of Lyons at their meeting Monday night, authorizing Village Manager Kathleen Rush to enter into negotiations for a final agreement between the two towns.
The board decided to delay making a commitment to Lyons last month after Rush determined the costs involved were too high to justify joining the joint dispatch center. In the original plans, in which Lyons and Riverside shared the costs of the center equally, the estimated cost for Riverside was $447,300, over $100,000 per year more than what the village currently spends on its own emergency dispatch center.
Since then, Rush explained at the meeting, Lyons officials have agreed to change the cost-sharing ratio to 60-40. This decreases Riverside's estimated yearly costs to about $382,900. This is still $50,000 more than the cost of their current dispatch center, but given the added efficiency and access to a more modern lock-up facility that the new center will provide, this increase was more acceptable to the board.
In a separate interview, Rush said the 60-40 ratio more accurately reflects their "best guess" of the share of services each town will be using from the center. This cost-sharing ratio will be used for the first two years of the agreement, she said, and after that the ratio will be determined by the number of calls going into the center from each village.
As for when the final agreement on the center will be completed, Rush said there are still many details that need to be worked out, and there is no set timeline. The resolution approved by the board on Monday only committed the village to pay $15,000 in revised architectural expenses in case the two villages can't come to an agreement.
"Lyons would like us to be on board as quickly as possible, but we have no deadline," she said.