NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Borough Administrator Doug Marvin said that architectural plans for a combined New Providence-Summit emergency dispatch center have been approved by both communities, with construction bids due in mid-January, 2014.
Marvin said the target date for the emergency dispatch center to be located in the borough’s Municipal Center is in July, but he cautioned that implementation would not occur until officials of both communities were confident of positive outcomes. “There is a good deal of hesitation with a July date,” Marvin added.
In addition to possible operational savings, one of the driving forces behind the merger is a $1.6 million federal grant to replace aging equipment with state-of-the-art technology.
The grant, Marvin said, cannot be used for construction so each community will split an expected $700,000 expense for the new center.
The shared Dispatch Center will handle all 911 emergency dispatch services for police, fire and EMS in both communities. In addition, on a fee basis, the center will also process emergency calls for the Millburn Fire Department.
Marvin said there is a possibility that Millburn will become an equal partner with New Providence and Summit and have all emergency services dispatched by the new center.
Millburn hasn’t made a final decision but discussions are underway with options being explored, Marvin added.
Union Township emergency services serve a population similar in size to New Providence, Summit and Millburn.
“The staffing model we are considering for our center would be consistent with Union or may be even a little larger,” Marvin said.