911 surcharge increase rejected by Kalamazoo Co. voters

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Kalamazoo County voters have overwhelmingly rejected a proposed 911 surcharge increase.  

Roughly 68 percent of the nearly 30,000 voters said “No” to the increase.

If passed the proposal would have increased the surcharge to $2.30 on phones with access to 911. Residents currently pay a surcharge of 42 cents.

The county also had plans to consolidate various dispatch centers into a centralized location. Currently city, township and county agencies are housed at the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety headquarters on Crosstown Parkway. The other two, Western Michigan Campus Police and the Portage Police Department, operate alone.

“To say we’re disappointed is an understatement,” Jan Van Der Kley, the chair of the Kalamazoo County Consolidated Dispatch Authority Board of Directors, said in a release. “However, we respect the will of the voters and will continue to seek solutions for other funding mechanisms to consolidate the 911 services in Kalamazoo County.”

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