A day after his agency’s request for an additional one-quarter of a mill was approved by a slim margin, St. Joseph County E-911 Central Dispatch Director Dennis Brandenburg on Wednesday acknowledged that a lot of work awaits.
Brandenburg said his focus for now will center on development of a new communications tower. The agency has a verbal agreement with the St. Joseph County Conservation and Sportsman Club in Sherman Township regarding the location of a new tower. He said he’d like to get that project started as soon as possible.
As a result of Tuesday’s vote – which passed 1,364 in favor to 1,323 opposed – Central Dispatch will replace all radio equipment at its Centreville headquarters, change all mobile radios in police and fire units countywide, and every sworn police officer and active member of a fire department will get a new radio.
Brandenburg said he and the policy board will eventually have to conduct contract negotiations with potential vendors.
In all, the process, including construction and activation of the new tower, will likely take about two years, he said.
With the additional one-quarter of a mill, Central Dispatch will levy 1 full mill, which will generate about $1.9 million annually.