Kent County to ask voters for 911 surcharge increase

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Busy Day For Dispatchers

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Kent County residents will be asked for a Public Safety Dispatch surcharge increase to improve 911 technology.

The Kent County Board of Commissions approved the request Thursday morning to be place on the November 2016 ballot.

The increase would amount to another 70 cents per month for each line for phone service in Kent County.  The monthly charge per phone would then be $1.15 per phone.  That adds up to $13.80 per year per phone.

County officials say that the increased income would make investments in “next generation technology that allows for inter-agency communication and other upgrades.”  The county says that Kent County 911 currently operates on eight different radio systems which can hamper departments from communicating directly, even if they are on the same incident.

The funding increase would also allow the county to purchase communications towers and other equipment that would put all Kent County dispatchers on the Michigan Public Safety Communications System, which they say would improve communication to other 911 centers in the state, including Michigan State Police and neighboring counties.

The surcharge is added directly to billing on devices that use 911 service.

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