At this weeks meeting, the Valley County Supervisors expressed frustration with the city of Ord’s failure to renew the emergency communications agreement between the city and the county. The city had been paying $7,500 per year for the county to field all calls to the city police department from 4 pm to 8 am Monday through Thursday and all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Bob Sevenker pointed out that when the city first asked the county to provide the communications services it had resulted in a big savings to the city which previously had hired staff to field calls 24 hours a day.
This year the county asked the city to increase the payment to 12 thousand dollars per year. In doing so, the county pointed out that staffing and benefit costs had increased since the agreement was first entered into. The county also asked for a 4 percent increase per year in future years to automatically account for increasing costs in salary, benefits and equipment. The city of Ord never signed the new agreement and instead sent a check for the previous amount of 75 hundred dollars. The county did not cash the check.
Bob Sevenker has previously said that there has been a lack of communication and negotiations in good faith by the city. Recently, Bob Sevenker said the city had told him they are exploring other alternatives. Sevenker said he had told Mayor Goldfish that he was willing to come to the last city council meeting to discuss the matter. According to Sevenker, even though the communications agreement was on the agenda for the city council’s May 7th meeting, Mayor Goldfish told him that there was no need for Sevenker to come to the council meeting because the city would not be discussing the matter.
Several supervisors expressed the opinion that the city is getting a bargain. Is was pointed out that Valley County pays 66 thousand dollars annually to Region 26 for emergency communications. The Region 26 fee is based on population and since Ord’s population is approximately half of the county’s population the county board said they would expect that if Ord went on its own, then the city should expect to shoulder more of the Region 26 cost.
Since a new agreement has not been reached, the county has given the city of Ord a 180 day cancellation of service notice.