County puts 911 surcharge on Aug. 5 ballot

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By Ryan Lewis, Editor

In August, voters will have a chance to shore up funding for Allegan County 911 Central Dispatch.

If approved, the surcharge for 911 services that shows up on monthly phone bills will increase 20 cents, going from $2.80 to $3.

County commissioners voted 7-0 Thursday, May 8, to put the five-year proposal on the Aug. 5 ballot.

The move is a continuation of efforts last year to make sure the department has stable funding and is collecting enough to maintain both operations and save up to replace its aging hardware.

The system is scheduled to become obsolete within the next several years. That system and other future costs to maintain it are expected to top $13 million through 2030.

In May 2013, commissioners increased the surcharge to $2.80, up from $2.05; $2.80 is the limit in a proposal approved by county voters in 2009, and that proposal expires this year.

State law allows counties to set the surcharge at a maximum of $3.

From Oct. 2, 2013, through April 14, representatives of central dispatch have visited each city, village and township to present the proposal.

The surcharge is billed on any device that can dial Allegan County’s 911 service.

Contact Ryan Lewis at rmlewis@allegannews.com or (269) 673-5534.

For more on this story, pick up a copy of the May 15 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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