No action yet on 911 tax levy

By D. Anthony Botkin -

Delaware County’s 911 board put a tax levy on hold Wednesday to gather more information before going to the county auditor to set the millage.

The 911 administrative board met at 1 p.m. Wednesday, followed by a short meeting of the overall 911 board at 2 p.m. “We need more information on cost,” said Jane Hawes, county communications manager.

The board has scheduled a meeting for 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 26, in the county commission office with the “goal of going to the county commissioners on Thursday, July 28,” said Hawes.

If county commissioners agree to place the issue before voters, it would be on the November ballot. The deadline to get the levy on the November ballet is Aug. 10.

If approved by voters, the new levy would replace a 0.45-mill tax levy that now generates $2.25 million annually for emergency 911 services. It expires at the end of 2016.

The Gazette reported in May that the new levy would include the 0.45 mills in the expiring tax levy with additional millage.

The Gazette reported in May that a larger levy is needed to make upgrades to the 911 system over the next five years, according to Patrick Brandt, director of 911 services for Delaware County. The county will either repair or replace a tower in the southeast corner of the county that is creating a “dead spot.” The county is also planning to add text-messaging to the 911 system for the hearing impaired.

Even with the existing 911 tax levy, the county general fund has had to subsidize 911 services in the past. Budgeted in 2016 is $456,000 from the general fund.

If the new levy is passed by voters in November, the county general fund would no longer have to subsidize the 911 service.

By D. Anthony Botkin

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.