Statement issued Wednesday by the city:
More than 30 years after it was first proposed, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry today joined with the Allen County Commissioners and members of the Fort Wayne City councils to sign the interlocal agreement that merges the City and County 911 call centers.
Following unanimous approvals from the County Commissioners, County Council and City Council, Mayor Henry’s decisive signature caps the approval process and ensures the creation of the Consolidated Communications Partnership and its operations board consisting of the Allen County Sheriff, his chief deputy and the chiefs of the Fort Wayne Police and Fire departments.
“Together we are stronger,” said Mayor Henry. “There is no place that our ‘one community’ message resonates with more power than in the realization of the unified City-County 911 call center. With this agreement, we write a new chapter in our history. But of greater importance, we ensure our community is safer, build a more responsive and efficient local government to better serve the public, and demonstrate the courage to make decisions that will add lasting value.”
Initially the City will fund 70 percent of the partnership’s costs with the County paying the remaining 30 percent. Starting in 2012 for the 2013 fiscal year, the contribution percentages will be adjusted every three years based on call and run volumes or any agency addition to the partnership.
The operations board will meet within 30 days of today. The agreement anticipates that the partnership’s executive director will be hired within 60 days of its initial meeting.
All employees of the City and County’s communications departments will become employees of the Consolidated Communications Partnership, which is a separate agency from City or County government.
“The CCP offers Fort Wayne and Allen County residents an increase in solid public safety services in a well-coordinated manner,” said City Council President Marty Bender. “In my 35 years with the City, this merger has finally found agreement with everyone connected to it. All I can say now is ‘thank goodness this issue has come to a good conclusion.’”
The City Council and County Council will have budget oversight of the Consolidated Communications Partnership. The City’s controller will be responsible for the partnership’s accounting.
The consolidated call center will remain in its current location in the City-County Building.
The agreement also modifies the Multiple Agency Communications Partnership, which exists solely in the event of an operations board tie vote from two separate meetings. The MACP consists of the Fort Wayne Police chief, Fort Wayne Fire chief, Township Fire Chief’s Association president, Three Rivers Ambulance Authority executive director, an Allen County Commissioner and a Mayoral appointee in even-numbered years and a person appointed by the County Commissioners in odd-numbered years.
The agreement lasts for three years and automatically renews for three-year periods unless terminated under the rules outlined. The Commissioners approved the interlocal agreement Feb. 19 with County Council approval March 18. The City Council voted in favor March 23.