Wauconda nearing a deal with Lake Zurich for 911 dispatching

  • Wauconda officials plan to close the town's 911 dispatch center and outsource the service to Lake Zurich.

      Wauconda officials plan to close the town's 911 dispatch center and outsource the service to Lake Zurich. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

Updated 12/15/2015 11:48 PM

Wauconda officials have changed their minds again and are leaning toward hiring Lake Zurich to handle the town's 911 calls.

The village board on Tuesday formally agreed to pursue a contract and authorized administrators to finalize an agreement with the neighboring town.


The unanimous vote means Wauconda no longer is pursuing membership in CenCom, a consortium that handles 911 calls for 11 police and fire departments in Lake County.

"It came down very close," said Trustee Ken Arnswald, who led the committee that has been investigating outsourcing dispatch services. "Lake Zurich met what we needed."

When Wauconda officials began discussing outsourcing in early 2014, they eyed Lake Zurich as a vendor.

Lake Zurich's center takes 911 calls for four agencies.

But technical concerns raised by the Wauconda Fire District, which will change services along with the police department, scuttled a potential deal at that time and led to talks with CenCom.

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Those issues, which concerned communications equipment, have since been resolved.

Lake Zurich has requested a five-year contract, Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner said.

Hiring Lake Zurich could cost Wauconda about $220,000 annually, he said.

But details of the proposed contract need to be worked out, Maxeiner said.

Maxeiner expects a contract could be ready for a vote next month.

Maxeiner expects Wauconda's 911 center, which is at the police station, will close between four and six months from now.

The equipment will be kept operational for training, for special-event management or for catastrophes, Maxeiner said.

Wauconda's 11 dispatchers will be laid off.

Mayor Frank Bart was the leading proponent of outsourcing in Wauconda, saying it could save the town a lot of money.

Most of the trustees eventually came around and voted to pursue outsourcing in October.

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