HOWLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – City officials in Warren continue to look into whether it is feasible to merge their dispatch operations with the Trumbull County 911 Center.
On Monday afternoon, they toured the facility in Howland and had a chance to see how it works and ask any questions they have concerning the move.
“I am still myself going through the process of what will our people need to make a smooth transition? Financially, is it good for the city or not? But from what I am looking at right now, it is a really nice facility,” Warren 4th Ward Councilman Greg Bartholomew said.
Trumbull County 911 Director Ernie Cook said the city could save roughly $500,000 a year by joining the county system. And regardless of whether they merge, Warren would still have to upgrade its system, but by merging with the county, city officials would only have to pay a portion of it.
“I think there are opportunities with the county and city working together as partners, working with the state of Ohio, possibly some grants out there. But today, nobody can afford to go it alone,” Cook said.
The county already has two cubicles set up for Warren dispatchers, but the ball is now in the city’s court. 7th Ward Councilman Eddie Colbert said they need to properly vet the potential merger and hear more questions from council and dispatchers.before they move on to the next round.
“We have lost a large amount of our tax base and we have to look at how we are going to restructure how we do business in the city moving forward because finances are an issue now and have been an issue over the past few years,” Colbert said.