Curry County and Brookings have agreed to split the cost of a study to determine if consolidating the two dispatching services in the county is a worthwhile endeavor.
The cost of the study, to be conducted by Portland State University, is $35,000.
The city and county have long debated whether to consolidate the two systems.
The city’s center, based at the police station, dispatches emergency calls to numerous agencies in the south end of the county, while the county’s center, in the basement of the courthouse in Gold Beach, takes care of the north end of the county.
When each were constructed, technology wasn’t good enough to span the entire county. The county, in particular, could benefit through the reduction in costs.
Most significant, however, is that both dispatch and radio systems are reaching the end of their lives and must be replaced. Towers alone cost at least $100,000, and computers and radios add on to that.
According to the proposal submitted by Portland State University, researchers would outline what the system currently does, evaluate the budget of both centers and assess the condition of the infrastructure.
The most expensive elements of the study would include evaluating what is currently available, at $5,800, projecting the long-term demand will be $5,620; the cost/benefit analysis would be $4,660, preparation of the written report $4,080 and travel expenses estimated at $3,021.
Then they would identify what technology would best suit the unique geography of the county and develop cost/benefit analysis for various scenarios.
They estimate it will take 120 hours of professional staff time and an additional 324 hours of graduate student analysis.