Dunwoody could continue its agreement with DeKalb County for 911 service for the city’s police calls, officials say.
Recent meetings with top officials in DeKalb have proven productive, said Dunwoody City Councilman Danny Ross.
“We’ve been bouncing back and forth,” Ross said. “But I think we’ve worked to address certain areas.”
The city has been wrestling with the issue for months. The city’s options include staying with DeKalb County, joining ChatComm or establishing its own 911 service.
Dunwoody is looking for enhanced service from DeKalb County.
City representatives have tentatively outlined an agreement that would dedicate a dispatcher to Dunwoody police call and give city police their own radio channel, Ross said.
The agreement also calls for periodic meetings in which Dunwoody could bring questions and concerns to DeKalb County. The upgraded service would come at no extra cost to Dunwoody, Ross said. Dunwoody pays DeKalb for its service through 911 fees assessed to city telephones and cell phones.
“It certainly makes sense from a financial standpoint,” Ross said.
Dunwoody officials estimate the city would reap $900,000 to more than $1 million in 911 user fees if it were to break from the county.
The money could be used to either start a Dunwoody service or join ChatComm, which is a partnership between Sandy Springs and Johns Creek. ChatComm officials want to attract Dunwoody as way to help pay for the service.
Dunwoody faces a financial risk in starting a Dunwoody service or joining ChatComm.
A Dunwoody-owned service creates the most risk because it’s difficult to accurately predict its costs. ChatComm, meanwhile, currently requires an annual subsidy from Sandy Springs and Johns Creek to remain operational.
Dunwoody City Manager Warren Hutmacher has recommended the city join ChatComm. In the meantime, three members of the City Council have been meeting with DeKalb County officials.
Ross, and councilmen Denis Shortal and Robert Wittenstein were given the go ahead to meet with the county.
“This group has been set up for several months,” Ross said. “The mayor asked us to meet with the county and that’s the reason that we are.”