The NewsChannel 9 “Your Stories” team has gotten a lot of questions from people in Madison County, concerned about the 911 Center merging with Onondaga County’s 911 Center.
The Chair of the Madison County Board of Supervisors, John Becker, tells NewsChannel 9 that it’s something county leaders are considering, but it’s still in the early stages.
Becker says the county has first applied for a grant that would pay to study the possibility. The study would determine the feasibility of merging 911 centers and how much it would cost or save taxpayers. Those results would then be debated to make a final decision.
“We’ll see what it says, see what it recommends. Maybe they’ll come back and say ‘ you guys are running as efficiently as you can – don’t do anything.'”
The 911 Center employs about 20 people, but Becker says a consolidation decision would consider what happens to those people.
He refers to when Madison County sold off its public nursing unit, with the caveat that the buyer retained the current staff.
Madison County recently upgraded its radio system to one similar to what’s used in Onondaga County. The two systems are easily integrable, making consolidation one step easier.
A spokesperson for the Onondaga County Executive says:
“We are in constant conversations with many municipalities regarding potential shared services. Some of those conversations have involved the 911 center, but there is still much more work to be done and conversations to be had before any potential merger could take place.
It’s also important to note, if a merger were to take place, and I emphasize if, then just as with the ME in Oneida County, costs would be distributed fairly and it would be entered into if it saves money overall. Again though, still much more work to be done and conversations to be had.”