A new computer-aided dispatch system being developed by Kosciusko County will have the voluntary participation of the town of Milford.
Following a presentation by Milford Deputy Police Officer Travis Marsh, town council members voted unanimously Monday night to sign on to the system. It will replace the current Cisco system
Among the advantages laid out by Marsh is that the new system is more user-friendly, saves time and will provide Milford officers with more information about a suspect or a detained person than is currently available in a timely manner.
Warrants from other cities, reports of violence and medical issues are among the types of information that will come instantaneously to an officer’s in-car laptop. That could mean that he doesn’t have to spend 15 minutes on the roadside waiting for information on a driver, as Marsh said he did just last week.
Milford’s report management system computer is 10 years old and will need to be replaced soon, he pointed out. When that happens, $10,000 to $12,000 will have to be spent to replace it and the data management system that it runs.
The new CAD system can upload to the report management system and interface with other jurisdictions within the county – allowing those jurisdictions to share information about a subject instantaneously. It also has the capability, Marsh said, to let officers know where fire and EMS crews are going when they take a call. Law enforcement officials can then use that information able to rendezvous at the scene or assist those entities by blocking traffic at intersections. E-ticketing will be available with the new system, and an additional option that’s available for a small cost is GPS locators for police vehicles.
The county is shouldering the bulk of the program’s total price tag of about $800,000, Marsh said. Milford’s portion should be $5,000 to $7,000 unless some towns opt out.
Given the system’s advantages, as well as the cost of updating the existing system, the new CAD appealed to council members. They voted 3-0 to participate when it goes online in October, with council member Bob Cockburn requesting that the police department obtain further details on the cost of adding the vehicle GPS option.
Later in the meeting the two-year process of annexing 220 acres northeast of town came to an end. After receiving a recommendation for approval from the Milford Redevelopment Commission, the council voted unanimously to approve a fiscal plan for the site and to officially annex it.
After several entities are notified of the annexation a tax increment financing district will be set up to capture revenue from development on the site.
Council members and Utilities Superintendent Randy Veach then revisited a proposed increased in water and sewer fees.
The state auditor’s office told the town earlier this summer that its water and sewer services need to become independent of taxpayer support. Last month the council tossed around the idea of implementing a two percent hike in fees, hoping that would provide sufficient additional revenue. On Monday, though, town attorney Jay Rigdon encouraged members to consider having a rate study done first.
To pay for the study, user rates will have to increase even more. But Rigdon pointed out that unless council members know exactly how much the rates need to go up, they could find out that a two percent increase is insufficient and be forced to raise them again in the near future. Conversely, they might find that two percent was actually more than necessary.
Council president Doug Ruch thought that a rate study had been done as recently as four or five years ago. The town office does not have a copy of a study from that time period, so Free will contact the company that performed the study to see if a copy can be obtained.
The council did not take up discussion of a request from Multi-Township EMS for a significant increased in the town’s 2013 subsidy. A smaller, $20,000 increase is included in the town’s proposed 2013 budget.
For a complete accounting of the Milford Town Council meeting, see this week’s issue of The Mail-Journal.