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Montgomery County Studies 911 Options
Tuesday, 19 January 2010

January 19--  The cost of E-911 service is going up in Montgomery County and the county commission is considering alternatives. 

At a called meeting Tuesday night, the commission tabled a proposal from the Toombs County commission which would have raised Montgomery County's share of the E911 cost by nearly $50,000 this year. 

Commission chairman Brandon Braddy says it's time to take a look at doing it themselves.  "We feel like this is the direction we want to go right now, so we're going to temporarily table the intergovernmental agreement with Toombs while we go forward with our due diligence on the E911 feasibility study," he said. 

Currently Toombs County operates E911 for both counties in exchange for about $91,000 a year in telephone-user fees paid by Montgomery County.

Toombs officials have said publicly that amount is insufficient to pay Montgomery County's share of the E911 and that Toombs County taxpayers can no longer afford to subsidize service to citizens who live in another county.

Braddy believes the county can provide better response times to emergency personnel using dispatchers who are already working in the county sheriff's department.

"Right now we feel certain we can have the funds we use for the dispatchers in the sheriff's office plus the E911 fees we receive to operate our own system.  Plus, some of our fire chiefs have expressed concerns about their communications with E911 and we want to improve that for the safety of the county," he said.

If Montgomery County decides to go forward with its own E911 system, that could cause a deficit in the Toombs County E911 budget later this year.  Montgomery officials say if they go out on their own, they'd like to have it in operation by June or July.

 
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