The debate over Whitcom Dispatch services in Asotin County rages on

The debate over Whitcom Dispatch services in Asotin County rages on »Play Video
The parties couldn't resolve their differences about the current contract.
CLARKSTON, WA - Asotin County leaders from every end of the county are still battling over dispatch costs.

KLEW News learns what steps the group is taking to sort out their disagreements.

Leaders of Clarkston, Asotin and Asotin County Fire District No.1 said they've been getting the shaft for almost five years.

"We want justification for the numbers and when we get that we are more than willing to participate in maintenance and infrastructure," said Vikki Bonfield.

Right now the county hires Whitcom E-911 to take all the local emergency calls. The current five year dispatch contract is about to end in July. Clarkston city leaders claim this entire time, they've been overcharged by $127,000 every year. But Commissioner Brian Shinn took a firm stance against fixing the current contract. He said the county can only look forward and readjust the numbers for the next five year contract.

"The city of Clarkston asked for an amendment in good faith," said Richardson. "And we were hoping that we would have a response in good faith to amend the contract to where it should be."

"Our unwillingness to renegotiate the remaining portion of the contract whether it's seven months or eleven months does not constitute bad faith on our part," said Shinn.

The parties couldn't resolve their differences about the current contract. But they did agreed to move forward and talk about future dispatch agreements.

"We don't want to pay for your service," said Todd Richardson. "Nor do we want to pay for the city of Asotin's service or the fire district's service. And so as we get into some of these, we are going to have to have hard and fast numbers that are verifiable."

The local agencies are planning to elect a few people in each of their groups to sit down together and work out an even distribution payment system for future years.

The cities and fire district haven't taken any legal action against the county regarding the current contract at this time.