The Hermiston City Council unanimously approved Monday merging the city’s emergency dispatch services with Umatilla County.
The city estimated it will save about $350,000 in fiscal year 2014 and 2015, according to a news release. Those savings will come from lower staff costs and the city’s ability to avoid planned equipment upgrades.
City officials say they expect to see savings of nearly $250,000 per year starting in fiscal year 2015 to 2016.
Full consolidation of Hermiston’s dispatch services with Umatilla County is expected to take place by July 1, 2014.
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“I think this is what’s best for the City in the long run, and what’s best for customer service for the citizens,” said City Councilor John Kirwan in a statement.
Currently, residents just outside of Hermiston who call 911 on a cell phone have their call answered by the Hermiston dispatch center and then transferred to Umatilla County’s dispatch center, which officials say can cause confusion.
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