After a Feb. 13 county commission finance meeting where Hartland’s road patrol contracts were called into question, Hartland and Tyrone Townships announced on Thursday they have approved a proposal for a two-year extension with the Livingston County Sheriff's Department's contract to provide 24-hour road patrol in both communities, with no cost increases.
According to a press release, the townships are requiring that Livingston County hold the current annual contract cost at $309,294 or $154,647 per township, for the next two years giving the townships time to study and determine whether the costs of the contract balance with the benefits.
“There is no question that deputies assigned specifically to our townships have provided a higher level of service for many decades,” Hartland Township Supervisor Bill Fountain said in the press release. “The question we are unsure of is if the costs are equitable to the value added."
From information local officials have received, sheriff deputies will already be answering 80 percent of current calls made, regardless of the contract so the terms of agreement call for Livingston County to “measure the additional value of contracted services -in dollars- as well as develop a policy for countywide road patrol service levels and equitable cost-sharing.”
The sheriff’s department has agreed to change dispatching protocols in order to improve response times
“We understand that Livingston County is trying to balance a budget in a tough economy, as we all are,” Township Manager James Wickman said in the press release. “We just don’t think it is appropriate to increase our contributions when a base level of service is being provided to so many other communities at no cost. If the county reduces road patrol further or requires others to contract, then we can better assess the fairness of our contributions.”
Putnam Township is the only other community to pay for sheriff road patrol.