Grosse Pointe City, Park enter into new dispatching agreement

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published June 6, 2023

GROSSE POINTE CITY/PARK — Grosse Pointe City has inked a new agreement with Grosse Pointe Park to use the Park’s public safety dispatching services for 911 emergency calls.

Because the costs for the Park to operate its dispatch center have risen, the City has agreed to pay a larger annual fee for this service. The Grosse Pointe City Council unanimously approved a new dispatching agreement with the Park reflecting an updated cost structure April 17. The new pricing takes effect at the start of the 2023-24 fiscal year July 1.

Grosse City Manager Pete Dame said the initial agreement with the Park was for three years and was renewed for another three years in 2017, with automatic annual renewal unless canceled by either community. Because the expenses related to dispatch operations in general — and the cost of personnel in particular — have risen more than the 2% annual increases called for in the 2017 agreement, Dame said Park officials asked last year if they could increase the amount they were charging the City, to better reflect the City’s actual share of these costs.

The new agreement increases the City’s base annual payment to $130,605, with a 3% increase in subsequent years. Without the adjustment, Dame said the base payment would have been $118,943 this year.

The extension is for a two-year term, which can be automatically renewed unless either party cancels or both parties negotiate a new deal.

“There was a much larger increase (initially) offered by the Park,” said Dame, noting that they were able to come up with an amount that both parties found acceptable.

The City has contracted with the Park for its emergency 911 calls since the end of 2013. City officials say they’ve been happy with the service provided by the Park, and it has meant a substantial savings for the City over operating its own dispatching center.

“Prior to us entering into this agreement with the Park, we were paying roughly $300,000 (a year) just for dispatch,” Grosse Pointe City Councilman Christopher Walsh said.

“And that was in 2013 dollars,” Dame added, as the cost would likely have risen over the last decade.

Therefore, even with the increased cost from the Park, the City cost is “still substantially less than what we were paying (a decade ago),” Walsh said.

The Park City Council approved the new agreement with the City during a Park council meeting April 24. Leaders of both municipalities said their 2023-24 budgets reflect the updated dispatch agreement.

Dame said all five of the city managers in the Grosse Pointes have talked about further consolidation of emergency dispatching in the future, although nothing had been decided at press time as to what that might look like.