The Berkley City Council approved dispatch agreements with Huntington Woods and Pleasant Ridge during its meeting Monday night at City Hall.
The Berkley Public Safety Department will continue to handle 911 calls from both cities under the pacts and a fire agreement with Pleasant Ridge will be terminated.
BPS Deputy Director Robert North explained that Berkley's dispatch system identifies which city 911 calls via land line come from and which latitude and longitude cellular calls originate from and the corresponding city's officers are sent to respond.
Under the agreement, Berkley will provide 24-hour dispatch services, 7 days per week, for $3,349.61 per month to Pleasant Ridge and $5,000 per month to Huntington Woods. The Pleasant Ridge contract is good for 5 years and the Huntington Woods agreement runs through June 2013.
Any of the parties can terminate the agreements with 1-year written notice.
Pleasant Ridge City Manager Sherry Ball said the long-term contract – which does not include the option for Berkley to increase its rate – will allow the cities, which have worked together for the past eight years, to save staff time and money on annual dispatch negotiations and facilitate better planning of resources.
She added that she has formed a personal friendship with Berkley City Manager Jane Bais-DiSessa and the cities' officers also have bonded during the time Berkley has handled dispatch for Pleasant Ridge. Those relationships have strengthened the cities' alliance, Ball said.
For example, she said, during recent power outages, Pleasant Ridge residents were welcomed to use the Berkley Community Center as a cooling station, a gesture Ball said her city would return in kind if needed.
"What a nice relationship we've developed. The services Pleasant Ridge receives go far beyond that contract," Ball said. "Your officers look out for our officers and I hope the same is true for Pleasant Ridge."
The contract also will terminate an agreement approved in June 2011 to have Berkley provide backup fire services for Pleasant Ridge in the event negotiations between that city and Ferndale failed to produce an agreement. However, the Ferndale City Council voted unanimously in February to approve the continuation of a contract with Pleasant Ridge for shared fire and ambulance services.
The Pleasant Ridge City Commission will consider the contract in September.
Huntington Woods OK'd its dispatch contract in January, but Berkley only recently received a signed copy, thus the delay in the city's approval, Bais-DiSessa said. The agreement will automatically renew June 30, 2013, with Berkley having the right to increase its annual charge each July 1.
Berkley has provided the services since 1994 and will do so this year at a savings of approximately $40,000 to Huntington Woods.