Rockingham County dispatch fee divides big, small towns
Rye Police Chief Kevin Walsh shared his opposition to the charge with Rye selectmen Monday night. That board also plans to send a letter to commissioners expressing concern about the charge, which could cost Rye close to $8,000 a year.
Rockingham County Commissioner Kevin Coyle of Derry disagrees. He said the time has come for towns that use county dispatch to start paying up.
“I don’t think the bigger communities should subsidize the smaller communities. They’ve got to recognize they’re getting a service that other communities don’t get, and they’re getting it for free,” he said, adding that all residents in the county pay county taxes, but “Rockingham County dispatch is not there for everybody.”
“It’s a marginal increase at best,” he said.
Sheriff Downing said the idea to charge came from a management study done in 2011.
But Downing stressed that the financial aspect is still being worked out and could change.
Commissioners plan to hold a meeting with police and fire chiefs on Wednesday, June 19 at 5 p.m. at the county complex to discuss the proposal.
County Commissioner Tom Tombarello of Sandown said he’s still looking at the options, but added that while the county could increase taxes to pay for the dispatch upgrades, “I just can’t see charging towns that provide their own dispatch.”
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