New Providence and Summit are moving closer to a shared dispatch center, which would provide emergency police, fire and EMS services for residents in both communities.
Last week, New Providence Council approved a resolution and an ordinance to move forward with this shared service. The identical resolution and ordinance is on the Summit Common Council’s agenda for their meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. If approved, this agreement will lay the groundwork for how both towns will bring the proposed “New Providence & Summit Emergency Services Dispatch Center” to fruition.
Summit acquired two federal grants that total $1.6 million, which would provide this joint venture with state-of-the-art equipment and technology, said Doug Marvin, New Providence Borough Administrator, at the Nov. 26 Council meeting. However, the grants cannot be used to construct the facility, which will be housed in the New Providence Municipal Center, located at 360 Elkwood Ave. Instead, each community will contribute $350,000 to cover construction costs.
Overtime, both towns could save more money than before. Plus, Summit and New Providence could be a service provider for other communities that would like to share the dispatch services, according to ordinance, which could generate revenue to offset operational costs for each town. Right now, Millburn Fire Department is included in this shared service agreement and would pay fees for the center to respond to emergency calls.
Originally, Berkeley Heights was included with this proposed dispatch center. However, earlier this year, Township Council decided Berkeley Heights would run its own emergency dispatch services. From there, New Providence and Summit adjusted their plans.