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Barnes County has requested financial assistance from Valley City for operation of the 9-1-1 dispatch center for which the county took over day-to-day operations just last week.
According to an e-mail from Barnes County Emergency Manager Kim Franklin to members of the Valley City Commission and other city officials, the county believes the city should pay toward the system.
"As Valley City is more than 50 percent of the dispatch calls, I think that they should still be willing to pay towards the system and help ensure the safety of all citizens," Franklin wrote.
According to Franklin, she requested funding for a computer-aided dispatch system (CAD)system at the request of Valley City Police Chief Fred Thompson and Barnes County Sheriff Randy McClafflin. "This new equipment will eat up any reserve funds. Therefore, we will need to start another reserve so that we can update our equipment on a rotating basis, before it gets to be obsolete.
"It is my goal to make our dispatch more efficient and prosperous. I would hope that this is also the goal of Valley City considering that the city relies on dispatch just as much if not more than the other 12 cities in Barnes County."
The Barnes County Sheriff's department has budgeted for two dispatchers to help pay for their percentage of calls along with the number of calls for the rural fire departments, according to the e-mail.
Valley City officials, however, have not discussed what the city plans to do about the request.
When Barnes County opted to take over day-to-day operations of the 9-1-1 dispatch center, which was then operated by the city with shared costs, city officials made it clear that no further financial assistance would come from Valley City.
"Our position has been made clear from day one," said Valley City City Administrator David Schelkoph, who pointed out the city was covering a lot of dispatcher costs previously.
In a reply to Franklin's e-mail, Schelkoph said, "I have notes from pervious meetings that reflect that there will be no charge to the city for 9-1-1 dispatching for the city.
A meeting to discuss the needs of the county has been set up for Wed, Aug. 21, at 10 a.m. at the County Shop.
Read this story in Wednesday's Times-Record.