Wauconda officials to discuss dispatch center offers

  • Ken Arnswald

    Ken Arnswald

Updated 11/16/2015 5:11 PM

Wauconda officials will review two competing proposals for 911 dispatch service at a pair of committee meetings this week.

The first session is 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at village hall, 101 N. Main St. The second session is at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, also at village hall. Wauconda's village services committee will tackle the controversial proposals.


Tuesday's meeting will be dedicated to a membership offer from CenCom, a regional group based in Round Lake Beach that handles 911 calls for 11 police and fire departments in Lake County. Thursday, the committee will focus on a proposal from Lake Zurich to handle the town's emergency calls.

"It's just a matter of comparing the two (proposals), apples to apples," said Trustee Ken Arnswald, who leads the committee.

If trustees favor the CenCom plan, the village would become a member of the group. If they opt for Lake Zurich's proposal, Wauconda would hire Lake Zurich -- which operates a 911 center that serves four area departments -- as a contractor.

Representatives from CenCom will attend Tuesday's meeting to answer questions from committee members. Lake Zurich officials will attend Thursday's gathering for the same purpose.

Trustees have publicly reviewed an offer from CenCom previously, but it's been tweaked, said Trustee John Barbini, a member of the village services committee.

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"I expect we'll address (those changes) tomorrow night," Barbini said.

Lake Zurich's offer has yet to be publicly reviewed. Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner talked to the board about a preliminary draft this month.

"We've heard things from Lake Zurich but we haven't seen it in writing," Arnswald said.

Trustees voted in October to shutter the town's dispatch center and outsource the service in a cost-savings move. The center is at the police station, and 11 employees will be laid off.

When Wauconda officials began discussing outsourcing in early 2014, they eyed Lake Zurich as a vendor. But technical concerns raised by the Wauconda Fire District, which is expected to migrate to the same 911 center as the police department, scuttled a potential deal at that time.

Those issues, which concerned communications equipment, have since been resolved, so Lake Zurich is back at the table.

Barbini said he didn't know if the committee would need to meet a third time to discuss the dispatch proposals. It'll be up to the group to recommend one of the plans to the full board.

A timetable for outsourcing hasn't been finalized, nor have Wauconda's dispatchers been told when they'll be out of work.

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