City-county 911 costs may rise by $1 million
Aug 21, 2012 (The News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries this week will ask the County Council for an extra $500,000 to cover an upgraded city-county 911 call center -- a request that he said may be a tough sell.
The Fort Wayne-Allen County Combined Communications Partnership is considering a contract between the city and county that would include a $7.8 million spending plan for joint 911 services in 2013, a $1 million increase over this year's budget.
The proposed budget would include $1 million for new 911 call center equipment, which is separate from a $17 million upgrade to the radio system used by police, firefighters and dispatchers. Fries said the costs may come as a surprise to council members who thought the two systems were part of the same project.
"None of us wants to spend $1 million on a new phone system, but we also know the current system costs $250,000 every year to maintain," Fries said Tuesday.
Under the proposed contract, the city and county would split the $1 million phone system, while state 911 user fees would pay for about $2.3 million of the total communications budget, partnership Director Tim Lee said. The other $4.5 million would be divided by usage, with the city paying 80 percent.
The extra $500,000 would increase the county's total expenditure to about $1.4 million, Fries said Tuesday at the partnership's meeting.
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