In preparation of the 2019 budget, Police Chief Christopher P. Viland provided a regionalized dispatch economic update to outline the cost savings associated with the city’s collaboration with the Chagrin Valley Dispatch Center. The total three-year savings would be about $1 million.
The city is approaching two and a half years of their membership in the CVD Regional Council of Governments. It was in August of 2016 that Solon closed the doors of its dispatch center, which was housed in the Solon Police Department.
Chief Viland told City Council Monday that he was proud to report that actual cost savings exceeded conservative estimates.
The current estimated savings from 2017 through 2019 is 43.8 percent higher than the estimate provided in 2016 of $736,631, he said, and amounts to just over $1 million.
“I’m happy about that because I hope it validates my assessments in the future,” he said.
Chief Viland pointed out that this is economic information only, “though it must be noted that the quality and level of service that is being provided remains consistently equivalent to when we operated our own dispatch center.”
The change to regionalize the dispatch, which was once housed in the Solon Police Department, drew debate on the dais and in the community early on.
At the time of the decision, officials said the consolidation was expected to save the city about $300,000 annually and cost about $740,000 annually. A buy-in of $425,000 was credited $150,000 due to a purchase of radios at that time, with Solon’s buy in at $275,000.
When it joined the regionalized operation, Solon paid annually the second highest amount as a CVD member community, with Euclid being the first at $1 million. Solon added roughly 28,000 calls to the CVD’s roughly 168,000 annually.
It had cost Solon just over $1.1 million to operate its dispatch, which was comprised of six full-time employees and five part time. All of the employees were given the opportunity to move over to CVD, but with a decrease in pay.
Solon is one of 17 communities the CVD serves, with others being Chagrin Falls, Moreland Hills and Hunting Valley.
Solon pays $64,212.13 monthly to CVD for a total of $770,545.56 a year.