ChatComm Logo

The Chattahoochee River 911 Authority is offering Dunwoody a chance to purchase a membership in the authority over the next five years.

Dunwoody now is a customer of the authority, generally known as Chatcomm. Chatcomm is owned by the cities of Sandy Springs and Johns Creek.

On Jan. 24, Dunwoody City Manager Warren Hutmacher gave members of Dunwoody City Council copies of a letter from Chatcomm chairman Wendell Willard outlining a membership offer.

Willard wrote that Dunwoody could continue its current subscription relationship with Chatcomm for $1.2 million a year, up from $1.075 million, with an option to renew after five years.

Or, he wrote, Dunwoody could purchase a membership in Chatcomm by continuing to pay for five years the $1.075 million a year it now pays plus an additional buy-in amount of $1.75 million spread over five years, paid at a rate of $350,000 a year. The amount of the buy-in equals 1/3 of the value of Chatcomm’s capital investment, he wrote.

“What you’re buying is a vote on the Chatcomm board equal with Johns Creek and Sandy Springs,” Hutmacher told council members during their annual retreat, held at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia hotel.

Hutmacher said Dunwoody city officials would begin negotiations with Chatcomm over the offer with plans to report back to the council in March.

Dunwoody city officials have repeatedly expressed frustration with Chatcomm over how long the agency has taken to implement a computer-assisted interface, called a CAD-to-CAD system, with DeKalb County’s 911 system to handle fire services calls.

About 90 percent of Dunwoody’s emergency service calls are police calls, city officials say, but council members want the CAD-to-CAD system to speed response to fire and ambulance calls.

Avatar photo

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.