Local Governments Approve Next Step Towards Regional 911 Center - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local Governments Approve Next Step Towards Regional Dispatch Center

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- City and county leaders are working to find a future for a regional 911 dispatch center.

One by one, local governments are giving their okay to the next step in making a regional dispatch system a reality.

A regional dispatch center would combine the Benton and Franklin services to create a potentially more efficient and cost effective center.

Local officials are giving their stamp of approval to move forward with the dispatch discussions.

Pasco City Council voted last night to approve the next step in the regional dispatch center, which is a consultant analysis of the financial and operational needs of a combined dispatch.

Richland City Council approved the proposal last week and Tuesday, Benton County commissioners supported a review of the project.

Commissioners said they have concerns about bearing more of the burden in the merger.

"Are there concerns? Of course there's concerns. All three of us, basically it was unanimous that we wanted to turn around and sign this interlocal to get us closer to the step, the ultimate goal, to see if this is truly the right direction for Benton and Franklin counties," said Shon Smalls, Benton County Commissioner.

Commissioner Smalls said Benton County might have to take on 50-70% of the cost for the regional dispatch center.

Smalls said he wants to closely review a consultant report on the possible multimillion dollar combined service and confirm it's in the county's best interest.

Tuesday night, Kennewick's City Council will vote on the study and Franklin County commissioners are expected vote by next week.