Phone 911 fee up for final vote |

Phone 911 fee up for final vote

An ordinance increasing the per line fee for 911 Emergency Service goes before county commissioners today.

The 50-cent per phone line increase will help fund the county’s 911 system, which without it will require increased subsidies from the general fund.

Emergency Communications Director Ron Sagen said the 911 fund is projected to lose $101,272 this fiscal year. The increase will stabilize the fund and prepare for additional costs over the next four years.

The cost of the 911 system is $398,090 per year with a possible 5 percent increase from the phone company.

“Our current revenue source provides $149,000 per year, leaving an increasing deficit each year,” Sagen said. “I’m thinking some people believe we would have a massive surplus. That isn’t the case, we would generate approximately $48,910 the first year in surplus, then it reduces with the projected increases from our local dial-tone provider. Regardless of the surplus amount, by law we cannot use those funds for anything except for maintaining, enhancing or improving the emergency 911 system.”

Alpine County, East Fork Fire District, Tahoe Douglas Fire District and the Washoe Tribe all use the county’s 911 dispatch system in addition to the sheriff’s office.

Sagen said next generation 911 will take up part of the increase, which includes texting and video to 911.

Commissioners meet 10 a.m. today at the Carson Valley Inn in Minden, due to their chambers being taken over by early voting. The meeting will not be live streamed.