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Helper questions annual dispatch bill

Sun Advocate reporter

Helper city has decided to request an audience with County Dispatch over its yearly bill for the service. Dispatch is done centrally in the county and each city must pay a yearly rate which has consistently risen from year to year.

Upon receiving a dispatch bill of $18,700, Helper Mayor Mike Dalpiaz, informed the council that this was an increase of 20 percent from last year's bill, which was an increase of 20 percent from the previous year.

"Helper is usually the only city that fights this," said Mayor Dalpiaz. "They calculate (the bill) on a call ratio and a formula that I disagree with."

Police Chief Steven Andersen, who was present, informed the council that over the last five to six years the Helper police have been able to decrease their use of the radios with cell phones and computers, but, despite this, the bill has continued to rise. He added that, when comparing city records with dispatch', he has noticed some possible deficiencies.

"We didn't budget $18,000 for this. I want to know what they are doing for cost controls because everyone else (in the county) has had to tighten their belts," said Councilman Dean Armstrong.

In continuation with the city's ongoing grave yard space problems, the mayor has proposed stacking new graves with a limit of two deep. The proposal comes as expansion of the yard will require dynamiting rock and would likely be very expensive. Currently, it costs about $350 for a resident gravesite, but the possibility of raising prices for doubles has not been ruled out.

"We're cemetery poor, we have to expand the cemetery," said Mayor Dalpiaz.

The measure was put off for refinement until the Oct. 1 council meeting.

To conclude, it was made known that Councilman Kirk Mascaro, who was returning from a CIB meeting, was able to get a $150,000 grant and a $150,000 loan to finish the expansion for the Helper Museum. The will also be looking into upgrading its power system by "Morgan town" by Highway 6 since new projects in the town will require more electricity. The city will have to figure out how to pay for the upgrades, as they will be expensive, but the details are not yet worked out.

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