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Dunwoody council approves contract renewal with ChatComm
by Christine Fonville
September 02, 2014 11:17 AM | 1084 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At a Dunwoody City Council meeting last week, a renewal of an intergovernmental agreement with the Chattahoochee River 911 Authority, or ChatComm, for 911 call taking and police dispatching was once again on the table.

Dunwoody subscribes to the Sandy Springs-based service run by the cities of Johns Creek and Sandy Springs. The city of Brookhaven will become a subscriber as early as today.

Police Chief and acting City Manager Billy Grogan reiterated to the council the renewal of the five-year, fixed-term contract would include a 4.7 percent increase, bringing the total of the contract to about $1.12 million.

Councilman Jim Riticher continued to voice his disapproval of the contract, stating that ChatComm needed to be held accountable for the city’s lack of a working computer aided dispatch, or CAD-to-CAD, interface which, he said, the authority promised to the city.

“I am not for the approval of this agreement at this time because I continue to believe that we need to hold ChatComm’s feet to the fire so they will follow through with this CAD-to-CAD process,” he said. “They are a part of this entity and we need to continue to hold them accountable.”

However, other members of the council said ChatComm has followed through with contractual obligations and presented a fair price for services.

“None of us are happy with the CAD-to-CAD process but this contract runs out on April 31 and I don’t want to leave,” said Councilman Denis Shortal. “They’ve got restrictions in there about automatic renewal and things like that, but I think playing hard ball with the possible loss of 911 services, unless we have back-up, is not something I want to do.”

Shortal said he felt the 4.7 percent increase was a price that could not be beat and after the contract is renewed, the city should ensure the CAD-to-CAD process is moving forward and provide updates on the project to the public.

Councilman Terry Nall agreed with Shortal’s statements and said according to ChatComm’s current agreement, they are not responsible for providing a computer aided dispatch system to the city.

“It’s been said at prior meetings that ChatComm promised us CAD-to-CAD and they’re not living up to their promises but when I study more of this agreement, I don’t see evidence of that promise,” he said. “They do exactly what they state in their current agreement and while the system was certainly contemplated, since I’ve been on this council, no one from ChatComm has promised us CAD-to-CAD.”

Nall said under article two of the current contract, the 911 emergency call service listed is what is being provided at this time.

“We don’t want to be on contract on borrowed time,” he said. “We always have the ability to give six months’ notice to end the contract at any time and we need to make sure we at least would be able to have valid agreement with a fixed-price for the next five years.”

The agreement was approved with Riticher and Councilwoman Lynn Deutsch voting against the contract.

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