The city has dropped plans to possibly privatize its 911 dispatch services after a proposal submitted by a private firm exceeded the current in-house cost of operation. At the urging of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) the city sought out proposals to price check whether it will be cheaper to have an outside firm handle emergency dispatch services.
Princeton-based IXP Corporation was the sole firm to submit a proposal to the city. The firm proposed a $4.69 million price tag to privatize dispatch services. This is $1 million more than what the city currently spends on running its in-house 911 dispatch services, business administrator Nellie Pou told council members on Tuesday night.
Council president William McKoy sought a report of current expenses the city is incurring for emergency dispatch services. The business administrator did not have the report immediately available for the council president, but said it will be provided to him at a later time.
The council has before it a resolution to reject the single proposal that was successfully solicited. The business administrator said this is the only firm in the area — New Jersey — that provides emergency dispatch services.
McKoy opposed privatizing 911 dispatch services arguing it will cost jobs. Councilman Michael Jackson also opposed the move. However, the council approved a measure to seek out proposals to see whether it will be cheaper to have an outside firm handle dispatch services.
The city’s latest memorandum of understanding (MOU), conditions the state sets in return for providing $25 million in financial aid to the municipality, required the city to seek proposals and compare costs.
The state’s fiscal monitor reviewed the proposal that came in, said the business administrator. The state required the city to enter into an agreement with the “lowest responsible proposer” if there was a cost savings, according to the MOU.
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