Naperville, Aurora merging governing boards for 911 service

Updated 3/9/2017 11:56 AM

Naperville and Aurora have been collaborating on public safety communications since ordering a new radio system together nearly 10 years ago, and now the cities appear poised to take their cooperation a step further.

The cities are in the process of approving the final intergovernmental agreements needed to merge two governing bodies that control operations at 911 dispatch centers.

The governing bodies, called Emergency Telephone System boards, manage the use of taxes collected by the state to fund operations at each dispatch center.

The merger of the governing bodies does not mean Naperville and Aurora are consolidating 911 dispatch centers; each city will retain its own answering point for emergency calls, Naperville City Manager Doug Krieger said.

But the move is "the last piece of a consolidation effort," that could yield future savings through increased joint purchasing efforts between the state's second- and fifth-largest cities.

"It's reflective of the great relationship we have with Aurora," Krieger said.

Pending approval of one more intergovernmental agreement, the joint governing board would be made up of police chiefs from Naperville, Aurora and North Aurora, fire chiefs from Naperville and Aurora, a member of the Naperville and Aurora city councils, directors of the 911 answering systems in Naperville and Aurora, two Naperville residents and one Aurora resident.

Taxes collected from the 911 surcharge in Naperville will still fund Naperville emergency communications, and the same goes for 911 surcharge revenue collected from Aurora.

To join the combined governing board with Naperville, Aurora will have to leave a board that was established in Kane County in 1989. Because Aurora's 911 answering point also dispatches for North Aurora, that village would be included in the new joint governing board, too.

Krieger said intergovernmental agreements to make these procedural moves possible recently have been approved by the Kane County Emergency Telephone System Board, Aurora and North Aurora.

Unanimous approval granted Tuesday in Naperville means there is only one more agreement the parties need to approve, Krieger said. Then the cities can begin appointing new members to the joint governing board and allowing it to function.

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