EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

July 1, 2013

N.H. towns upset with proposed dispatch fee

Rockingham County center needs $500,000 of upgrades


One of the most outspoken critics of the plan is Rep. Kenneth Weyler, R-Kingston.

He said Kingston would have to pay roughly $9,500 more to the county and Hampstead, which only uses the police dispatch, would have to pay about $6,500.

That far exceeds what the small towns receive in county services, Weyler said.

"All of these towns are saying we pay half a million dollars in taxes and what do we get for it?" he said. "It just doesn't seem like a good idea."

Weyler said all Rockingham County towns use the county dispatch — even towns with their own, so they must all foot the bill.

Since many of the county's court cases come from large towns such as Derry, Londonderry and Salem, those communities should pay extra fees for each person prosecuted, he said.

Commissioner Kevin Coyle of Derry said large towns with dispatch centers shouldn't have to fund dispatch services for the small towns. Derry, which spends close to $2 million annually on dispatch services, is too large to rely on the county center, he said

"It just makes sense that the big towns shouldn't have to subsidize the little towns," he said.

Danville Selectmen's Chairman Shawn O'Neil disagrees. He said all towns should share the cost.

"There are a lot of things in state government that I pay for and don't use," he said. "I would understand an increase to our county taxes to support it."

He said any fee should be based on a town's tax base, use of the center and population.

The fees would have to be approved by the three county commissioners. The proposal is still under review, commissioners said.

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