By Max Reid 
TRENTON – The city of Belleville will be taking on additional fire dispatch responsibilities in Hastings County.
Quinte West city council decided Monday to enter a $120,000-a-year contract  with Belleville Fire and Emergency Services in exchange for Belleville’s dispatching services. This will make Belleville the sole dispatcher for all fire departments in Hastings County, taking over the area previously served by the Quinte West OPP dispatching service.
The decision comes in the midst of a transition being made by Quinte West OPP to a new building. The move is to happen at the end of this month.
According to Quinte West Fire Chief John Whelan, the cost to equip the new OPP building with current dispatching technology it what caused council to consider a more cost-effective option.
“With all of the coming technology, our staff figured out that we would probably have to hire a new IT person, spend thousands of dollars to get new equipment in, or opt out and go with our neighbours in Belleville.” The third option was chosen “mainly to save money,” he said.,
Whelan said he does not expect the increased workload for Belleville to cause issues.
“They’re dispatching every other fire department in Hastings County, so we’re looking forward to it – they have sufficient staff.