Kalamazoo, Mich., Partnership Awarded Grant to Consolidate Public Safety Dispatch

The funds from the Michigan Department of Treasury must be used for the renovation and upgrading of technology and infrastructure of the consolidated dispatch center.

by Brad Devereaux, Kalamazoo Gazette / May 29, 2018
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(TNS) — KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The Kalamazoo County Consolidated Dispatch Authority has been awarded a nearly $2 million grant by the Michigan Department of Treasury as part of the Competitive Grant Assistance Program, the Michigan Department of Treasury reports.

The $1,966,006 grant is meant to help the organization that is consolidating five public safety answering points into a single authority, the Department of Treasury announced Friday, May 25.

It is the largest of 16 grants totaling $3.7 million that the department announced Friday.

The City of Kalamazoo, the City of Portage, Kalamazoo County, Kalamazoo Township and Western Michigan University entered into an agreement to fund the project.

A funding amendment signed by representatives of the municipalities in December establishes a short term (five-year) funding solution for the capital build-out and operational funding, totalling $21.5 million to be paid over a period from 2018 to 2023.

The grant is specific and must be used to assist with capital build-out, renovation and build out or upgrading of infrastructure and technology of the systems going into the consolidated dispatch center, he said. It cannot be used for operational costs.

"It's a great thing not only for the particular municipalities of the project, but also for residents and visitors of the county," Kalamazoo County Consolidated Dispatch Authority Executive Director Jeff Troyer said.

The dispatch authority board of directors will decide specifics of how the extra funds could impact the funding plan that's already laid out, he said.

The Kalamazoo County Consolidated Dispatch Authority submitted the grant application in February, Troyer said.

The grant funds are designed to help offset costs associated with mergers, inter-local agreements and cooperative efforts for projects started on or after Oct. 1, 2013.

For an authority, school district, intermediate school district, public community college or public university to qualify for grant funding under this program, the entity must combine operations with a city, village, township or county.

"I am pleased to announce the recipients of this latest round of grant funding," said Deputy State Treasurer Dr. Eric Scorsone, head of Treasury's State and Local Finance Group. "These grants will help communities share or merge services, bolstering budgets while improving services that residents depend on every day."

The grant panel gave preference to applications calling for complete mergers and consolidation of departments or services between local units of government. The grant funding expires on Sept. 30, 2018.

©2018 Kalamazoo Gazette, Mich. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.