Mandan News

Mandan approves dispatch system

A split Mandan City Commission narrowly approved a computer dispatch system used in Bismarck and Burleigh County that had been offered to the city and Morton County for emergency services.
Commissioners by a 3-2 vote on Tuesday, Dec. 17, approved use of the computer-aided dispatch system used by the Bismarck/Burleigh Combined Communications Center. The commission had tabled the idea at its last meeting earlier this month, saying it needed further review.
Morton County Emergency Manager Tom Doering told commissioners the project would cost nearly $15,800 for the Mandan Fire Department to install. He said the city would have the ability each year to opt out of the five-year agreement, which would take effect Jan. 1.
The system “could help in future joint purchases” among the two cities and counties, saving money for the city, Doering said.
Morton County has been without use of a computer-aided dispatch system since 2009, when it discontinued use of its old system.
A computer-aided dispatch system is used for the dispatching, monitoring and recording of emergency and nonemergency calls and services. Fire, law enforcement and emergency responders would have access to it. The agreement also provides for dispatcher training.
Not everyone on the commission was sold on the idea.
“I’m not comfortable (with it),” Commission Dot Frank said. “Is this the appropriate system?”
Frank said she’d prefer the commission give the issue more consideration and see if better options are available, such as state radio.
Commissioner Sandra Tibke made a motion for approval. She said ways can be found to integrate the county systems for improved information sharing.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction,” Tibke said.
Mayor Arlyn Van Beek and Commissioner Mike Braun voted yes along with Tibke.

Commissioner Dennis Rohr and Frank voted no.

By Nick Smith
Lee News