New Franklin exploring how to upgrade dispatch equipment

The city of New Franklin is exploring options to upgrade its dispatch equipment so its center can remain a primary one.

During the Feb. 21 council meeting, Mayor Paul Adamson said New Franklin is lucky to have the emergency calls come right to the city rather than a neighboring community. The city was told by state officials that certain things needed to be upgraded by mid-May in order for the center to remain a primary center for calls.

Adamson said he spoke with Summit County officials, who told him that New Franklin exempt and the rule to upgrade only applies to centers that receive state funding. The county, however, stood corrected in a follow-up meeting Adamson had with both the state and county.

Adamson said the upgrades don’t have to be completed by mid-May, but the state wants to see that the process is moving forward. He also said he knows the equipment needs upgraded and the city is exploring options.

“The good thing for us, the equipment has worked,” Adamson said. “But it could be so much better.”

The cost to upgrade the equipment is likely to be between $100,000 and $275,000. This cost would cover the equipment and needed software upgrades.

In other business Feb. 21, council:

– Approved on first reading for the city to enter into an agreement with Pfund Superior Sales to remount a 2018 chassis on the 2006 LifeLine Ambulance and to install a stryker patient loading system and power cot. The current 2006 vehicle has 88,000 miles and is having engine issues. The new chassis will make the vehicle like new and LED lighting will be installed on the ambulance. The addition of the power cot will minimize the amount of lifting first responders have to do. Councilman Jim Cotts said he sees this as a good deal and that adding the loading system makes total sense.

– Approved on first reading for the city to apply for an Assistance to Firefighters Grant for the purchase of a pumper truck. Council has applied for in the past and the feedback received was that the city was very close to being awarded the truck.

– Approved on first reading for the city to apply for an Assistance to Firefighters Grant for the purchase of assorted equipment and services. This is another grant the city has applied for in the past.

– Approved on second reading to establish fees for fingerprinting services by the New Franklin Police Department. This was discussed at the Feb. 7 meeting in more detail. The service will increase to $30 for BCI and $30 for FBI fingerprinting for residents and $35 for BCI and $35 for FBI fingerprinting for non-residents. These prices are similar to other areas that provide the service and the city is not making any money off the service.

– Approved on first reading to transfer funds from the General Fund to the Police District and Dispatch Fund. Cotts said this is a routine move as $75,000 is being moved from the General Fund to the Police District Fund and $50,000 is being moved from the General Fund to the Dispatch Fund.

– Approved on second reading to amend the city’s income tax code to adopt sections 718.80 through 718.95 of the Ohio Revised Code.

– Heard from Adamson about the NEXUS project. He said originally he thought NEXUS would only be in the city a week or two laying pipe, but it will likely take a couple months to get it installed. He said the city’s safety forces are in communication with NEXUS. He also said ongoing discussions are taking place about a few outstanding issues that need agreed on between the city and the company.

– Announced the run to the beach event will take place March 31. Anyone interested in the event can contact the Portage Lakes Advisory Council.

– Announced that city council has selected Andrew Fetterman as the new Ward 4 councilman. He will be sworn in at the next meeting.

The next New Franklin Council meeting is set to begin immediately following the committee meetings, which are scheduled for 6 p.m. March 7 at New Franklin City Hall.

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This story was also published in The Suburbanite. www.thesuburbanite.com