E911 charge a small price to pay

Published 6:51 pm Monday, November 10, 2008

Anytime a government agency announces a rate increase, taxpayers usually react with skepticism and complaints.

But this week, the E911 board decided to increase its monthly surcharge for residents across Pike County.

And this is one rate increase we support.

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The surcharge, which helps fund the emergency response operations, is the only source of funding revenue for the service. The increases are nominal – for residences, the surcharge increases by 69 cents to $1.50 per month; for businesses, the increase is 11 cents, to $2 for month.

That means, as a taxpayers, for only $18 a year you can benefit from the enhanced E911 response services. The enhanced system utilizes computer software to help first responders locate the caller’s location and greatly increases the efficiency of the system.

Board members, who are not paid, said the increase will help offset the operating costs and fund an anticipated computer equipment upgrade. Thanks to sound fiscal management of the system to date, operating costs have not been unreasonable, and we have no reason to expect that management to change.

Instead, this increase will help offset some much-needed upgrades in computer equipment and continue operations of the system.

It’s a small price to pay for the comfort of knowing that our E911 system is primed and ready if it’s needed.