Linn County wants voters to hike a fee, support 911 system - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Linn County wants voters to hike a fee, support 911 system

The Marion 911 Communications Center is one of three in Linn County.

Funding for the equipment comes from a surcharge paid by owners of landline phone numbers.

But in the past five years the revenue raised from that fee has dropped more than $75, 000 so officials want to raise the price from 25 cents to 50.

"Mainly it's just to maintain what we've got and then as equipment gets older, we can replace that equipment," said Harry Daugherty, Linn County E911 Chairperson and Marion Police Chief.

It's up to Linn County voters.

The county currently has the second lowest rate in the state.

"We're going to be the lowest, if not one of the lowest, at 50 cents," said Daugherty.

Residents in 81 of Iowa's 99 counties pay a rate of $1 per landline. In Benton County the sheriff says that's enough to pay the bills.

"We've had enough income with the dollar a year to set the money back so that when it comes to replacement time we can replace it without having to borrow money," said Randall Forsyth, Benton County Sheriff.

The equipment funded is the enhanced 911 system that shows a landline caller's address and phone number.

"We need to raise it so we can get the most updated equipment for each PSAP site, which is a communication center, so all the officers and deputies out there on the street can do their job with the most updated equipment," said Daugherty.

Two years ago Linn voters said no to raise their rate to one dollar, but officials hope the smaller hike will be successful.

There's also a 911 charge for cell phone lines.

That money doesn't go directly to the county.  It goes to the state.

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