SIDNEY -- The City of Sidney and Cheyenne County Emergency Communications Center (CCECC) are changing how they do business.

The City has contracted for the CCECC to dispatch the City's bus service. That is about to change.

"Effective May 1, 2023, the city transportation department is no longer using CCECC as a dispatcher for the Dial-A-Ride program. At the advice of NDOT (Nebraska Department of Transportation), we're in the process of hiring a full-time scheduler in order to get any reimbursement for the transportation department. This position and related benefits will be funded as non-operating expense and 90 percent refunded," said Finance Director Lane Kizzire.

The announcement was made Tuesday night in the City Council meeting. 

In his memo to the City Council, Finance Director Lane Kizzire said the City has contracted with CCECC as a dispatching service for riders to call and schedule rides. During 2022, CCECC received 40,629 calls, 24,815 of which were on behalf of the City.  Kizzire reported that 11,153 of the 40,629 calls to CCECC were for dispatching transportation rides. Removing the public transportation calls, the City's share of calls would reduce to 29,476 annually.

The contract with CCECC calls for the City to pay 61.08 percent of the CCECC budget. The City's 61 percent of the CCECC $796,538 budget is $486,525; about $130,000 is reimbursable through the Nebraska Transportation Department. 

Kizzire said the State of Nebraska is mandating that the City Transportation system have its own "scheduler" to get any reimbursement.