Huntington Woods Agrees to Cost-Saving Dispatch Deal with Berkley
The cities will continue a partnership that has been in effect since 1994, with a price reduction of approximately $40,000 per year.
The Huntington Woods City Commission authorized a new cost-saving agreement with the city of Berkley for dispatch and jail services during its meeting Tuesday night at City Hall.
Under the agreement, Berkley will provide dispatch services for $5,000 each month during the year beginning 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.
On Wednesday, City Manager Jane Bais-DiSessa confirmed Berkley decided to reduce its rate to match an offer made last year by Ferndale to provide dispatch and jail services for the Huntington Woods Public Safety Department.
Bais-DiSessa said in October that Huntington Woods previously paid $99,314 per year to receive dispatch and jail services 24 hours a day, seven days a week from the Berkley Public Safety Department.
Gov. Rick Snyder has encouraged local governments to consolidate services to qualify for statutory state-shared revenue funds, which has sparked new partnership proposals throughout the state.
The deal with Huntington Woods permits Berkley to increase its annual rate each July, with increases not to exceed the Consumer Price Index for Metro Detroit; in the event that they do so, the agreement states the cities will negotiate in good faith.
Commissioner Jeffrey Jenks requested an unwritten understanding that – in light of the cities' long partnership – Huntington Woods receive "favored cities" status, which would mean that if Berkley were to offer a lower rate to another dispatch client, Huntington Woods also would receive that reduced rate.
Bais-DiSessa, who was accompanied by Mayor Phil O'Dwyer and Berkley Public Saftey Deputy Chief Robert North, agreed to honor Jenks' request.
"The historic trust that has been developed over the many decades between our communities is reflected in the comments of Commissioner Jenks," O'Dwyer said.
The commission authorized an amended version of the agreement Tuesday night that calls for adding a dispute resolution process acceptable to both cities, per Commissioner Jules Olsman.
However, Huntington Woods City Manager Alex Allie said there have been no major issues related to dispatch services between the two cities.
"From my standpoint, it has been a very successful arrangement," Huntington Woods Mayor Ronald Gillham said.