EAST WINDSOR: Dispatch service deal with Hightstown approved by council

By Amy Batista, Special Writer
EAST WINDSOR – Council approved a resolution authorizing an interlocal services agreement for dispatch communication services with Hightstown Borough during its meeting last week.
“The agreement is a culmination of discussions of resolutions between the Township of East Windsor and the Borough of Hightstown, which underscores the purpose of a shared service agreement, which is to enter into terms that are beneficial for both of the parties that are in the agreement,” said Mayor Janice Mironov.
She said that for East Windsor Township, the deal would provide an opportunity to underwrite costs of its dispatch services as well as to allow additional revenue to be paid for the benefit of the township in its budget.
“Clearly Hightstown, which has already voted on this agreement, believes that as they should, that there is a benefit to Hightstown Borough and us providing dispatch services for them for a cost effective matter,” she said.
Hightstown council approved its resolution in a 4-2 vote on Jan. 19. Council members Seth Kurs and Susan Bluth voted no due to concerns over language in the resolution, as previously reported.
According to the agreement, it was entered into on Jan. 27.
East Windsor will be solely responsible for the staffing of the Communications Center. Management, work scheduling and the operations of the center will be the sole responsibility of East Windsor, according to the agreement.
East Windsor will continue to operate the center in the same manner as it is currently operated. Any material changes in the operation of the center will be communicated from the East Windsor chief of police or his/her designee to the officer in charge of the Hightstown Police Department of his/her designee, according to the agreement.
Hightstown agrees that it shall be solely responsible for all cost(s) and equipment required to be installed and/or added to in enable East Windsor to service Hightstown including that associated with adding its radios into East Windsor’s Radio system, except for discussions between East Windsor and Hightstown concerning the installation of a third workstation and the communication center if needed, according to the agreement.
East Windsor will monitor the security cameras located at the Hightstown police headquarters, and any cost to install monitors is the responsibility of Hightstown, according to the agreement.
The term of this agreement will be for five years commencing on a date between the approval and execution of the agreement by both municipalities on June 1. The agreement maybe set up for two additional one-year terms with the agreement of both parties. Notwithstanding the initial five-year term, either party may terminate this agreement with or without cause upon 12 months written notice to the other party, according to the agreement.
Hightstown will pay to East Windsor $168,000 for the first year service and that fee will be increased annually in the amount of 3.5 percent above the prior year’s fee for years two through five, according to the agreement.
“This certainly leads the (task) of a good, solid and workable shared services agreement which allows two communities to work together and to both divide a substantial benefit to be able to perform the services of municipal governments” said the mayor.
During a Nov. 10 East Windsor Township council meeting, dispatchers showed up and pleaded for their jobs.
“We do appreciate all of the comments. We take them to heart. We will take them very seriously,” said East Windsor Township Mayor Janice Mironov during that meeting. “As you know, we are looking at the subject but we have not made any decisions yet.”
The contract negotiations for dispatch services were all under closed sessions.