CINCINNATI - Hamilton County commissioners will once again try to institute a monthly service fee on any device in Hamilton County that can contact 911 services to fund the county communication center.
A similar proposal made last year lost traction, but commissioners intend to send the state a new plan for approval sometime this year.
Jayson Dunn, direct of the Hamilton County Communication Center said though the fee amount is not locked in at this time, around $1.50 cents per month for every cellphone, landline, and voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP) subscription in the county could be charged.
For a family of four with one landline and four cellphones the fee would result in an additional $90 a year paid to the county.
“It’s a shared funding model between county and cities that will benefit users of the dispatch system,” said Dunn. “It’s a model currently being used throughout the country.”
Currently an $18.50 duty fee paid by individual municipalities when a 911 originates in their area funds the communication center.
If the new funding model was to be improved the current $18.50 model would be repealed according to the proposal.
The fee is being sought to provide a more consistent funding mechanism to pay for technology, personnel, and services provided by 911 services to the municipalities of Hamilton County, said Dunn.
According to the current proposal all money collected would by law have to be spent on communication services.
The county is currently looking to replace its outdated emergency radio system at an estimated cost of $10 million.
“All the tech that is involved with 911 dispatches, to be able to have the address, there is a lot that drives that,” said Dunn.
The communication center handled about half a million 911 calls in 2012.
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