Delaware County’s 911 board is expected today to move forward on a November tax levy.
The issue was put on hold last Wednesday to give board members more time to review information before going to the county auditor to set millage for the levy. It’s expected that the board will ask voters for a renewal of the county’s current 0.45-mill levy and an increase in revenue for 911 emergency services.
If approved by voters, the levy would renew the existing levy that now generates $2.25 million annually and qualifies for a tax rollback by the state. The current levy expires at the end of 2016.
According to county officials, property owners would continue to receive a tax rollback from the state on the 0.45-mill portion of the levy. Additional millage will not be eligible for the state rollback.
“The board wanted a week to review all the information,” said Patrick Brandt, the county’s director of emergency communications.
The county’s 911 administrative board is scheduled to meet today at 1:30 p.m. with the entire 911 board meeting at 2 p.m. in the county commission office at 101 N. Sandusky St. with the “goal of going to the county commissioners on Thursday, July 28,” Jane Hawes, communications manager for the county, said last week.
County commissioners would then decide whether to place the issue on the November ballot. The deadline for commissioners to get the levy on the November ballot is Aug. 10.
According to Brandt, if the levy is approved, 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, Brandt has said.
The purpose of today’s 911 board meeting is to determine the dollar amount needed for the upgrades before going to the county auditor to calculate the millage needed to generate that amount.
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 levy is passed by voters in November, the county general fund would no longer have to subsidize the 911 service, officials have said.
The 911 administrative board met last Wednesday followed by a short meeting of the 911 board. The meeting lasted only 15 minutes once board members decided that more information was needed before moving forward.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.