Cities Look to Combine Services

February 15, 2005--Posted 6:00 pm CST

Poinsett County--Consolidation isn’t just for schools anymore.  Small towns across Region 8 are looking at consolidating services in order to save cash.  In Poinsett County , Marked Tree and Tyronza are two of these towns considering consolidating some services.


"Regional is what everyone is talking about right now." Mark Tree Mayor Lawrence Ashlock says. "We really need to begin looking at regionalizing our police department and water department like our schools are doing."


One department which may be closer to others in regionalizing could be the police dispatch office.  Right now Mark Tree dispatchers already handle some of the load.  But in the future dispatchers could all be located centrally in one office.


The immediate problem with the plan is the loss of several dispatch jobs.  Jobs the employees have worked for years.  Tyronza Mayor Marion Bearden says any plans for combining the dispatchers will have to wait for jobs to be found for those already working.  Until then she does not see any more services being shared.