Berkowitz’s dispatch options

By Lisa Williams Ackley
Staff Writer

Below is the comparison of Dispatch options prepared by Bridgton Town Manager Mitch Berkowitz.

The town manager’s executive summary gives a comparison of dispatch services, costs and savings. The purpose of the comparison, Berkowitz said, “is to assist in determining the most cost effective approach to providing dispatching services to the citizens and visitors in the town of Bridgton.”

The cost to have the Cumberland County Regional Communications Center perform dispatching services for the town would be $92,291, while the cost of Bridgton Dispatch would be $283,489, for a savings of $191,198, according to Berkowitz. The cost shift to the Bridgton Police Department would be $150,732.

Savings to the town (presumes all other costs increase at the same rates) in Year I would be $40,000; Year II $94,572; and Year III $124,546.

Policy decisions would need to be made if the town were to retain Bridgton Dispatch, according to Berkowitz, that would include one on equipment (console, microwave, mobile data and tower or towers) that could mean a cost of $202,701 to $360,701.

As for service levels, the town manager said, “Making the decision today would indicate that all critical service parameters can be met or exceeded if the town contracts with the County. If the town remains with its own dispatch, additional training would be required. Equipment upgrades would also be incurred.”

Berkowitz said the comparison of the two operations, Cumberland County and Bridgton Dispatch, is made using the proposed contract amount by the County for July 1, 2011 and the proposed operational budget for the town for the same period. The categories are representative of the key issues for comparisons though other elements may also be used, Berkowitz explained.

NOTE: The categories compared will be listed as: County Regional, Town of Bridgton, Net Change and Comments (if any), in that order, for each area of comparison.

Categories compared:

Personnel —

Minimum staff — 4, 1

Compensation — $92,261, $193,175, for a net change of $100,914

Retirement — Part of contract, $8,972, for a net change of $8,972

Health/Dental Insurance — Part of contract, $78,914, for a net change of $78,914

Total — Town of Bridgton $281,062, for a net change of $188,800.

Training — Part of contract, $2,427, for a net change of $7,280; Comments — Admin Clerk 30 days.

Service Parameters —

(Again, Cumberland County will be listed first and Bridgton Dispatch after that):

24 x 7 Service — Yes, Yes

IMC and Spillman records — Yes, Yes; Comments — Going forward

Analog or Digital — Yes, Analog

Periodic Reporting — Monthly, 1/4, 1/2, annual (County); Yes (Bridgton)

Multiple Call Staff — Present, Call in

Fire, Police, Public Works, Emergency Medical Dispatch — Yes, No

Walk In Phone Video Link to CCRCC — Yes; Comments — Local cost

Fire Permits — No, Yes; Comments — Weekdays — Admin.

Ongoing Training and Certifications — Yes, Yes if Retained

Total of Personnel & Training — $92,261, $283,489, for a net change of $196,080

Equipment —

Replacement console — No, Yes, for a net change of $77,701

Upgrade of Dispatch Center — No, Yes, for a net change of $50,000 estimated

Radio Tower System — Yes, Yes, for a net change of $50,000 estimated

Miscellaneous — No, Yes, for a net change of $25,000 estimated

Total for Equipment — $202,701

Cost Shifts to Police Department —

Telephone services — $4,124

Cell Phone — $408

Office Supplies — $3,500

Equipment Maintenance — $6,000

One Administrative Support position with benefits — $44,000

Unemployment Benefits estimated 1.5 years 1 x only — $82,240

Holding Cell Supervision — $1,200

Subtotal — $143,472

Unknown —

Public or private alarm system monitoring alarms system revenues loss — net — $7,260

Total — $150,732

Upgrade to Digital/Microwave and Mobile data is at town’s option — estimated at $40,000 to $160,000; Comments — Not required

Mobile data for all vehicles — initial and ongoing – To be determined; Comments — Not required.

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