Trustees told Genoa depends on 911 dispatching

ThisWeek News – April 09, 2011

Genoa Township fire chief Gary Honeycutt on April 8 reminded township trustees that funding for the only emergency communication system in the county is on the May 3 ballot.

The five-year, 0.45-mill 911 renewal levy is the primary funding source for county emergency communications. The current levy expires Dec. 31. If approved, residents would pay the same amount they have paid for the previous levy.

The Genoa fire and police department have no communication dispatch center.

The service is provided through the emergency communication center of the county emergency services division. It is primarily funded through the countywide 911 levy.

“This is a renewal levy with no proposed increase, and it provides funding for 911-emergency dispatching, the upgrades to the cell phone location service, and a countywide system for all the emergency responders, and it maintains the current level of service,” Honeycutt said.

The levy generates about $2.5-million annually in property taxes, Shari Baker of the Delaware County auditor’s office said in an e-mail.

The countywide 911 system has an annual budget of $3.4-million, which includes all expenses, such as technology for the 911 call center and radio system, the code red emergency and weather alert warning systems, and salaries, benefits and training for call center employees.

The countywide emergency communications department currently is funded with money from the county’s general fund, the expiring levy and cellular phone 911 surcharges that the state collects and distributes.

Also at the meeting, trustees discussed a residents survey on the need for a future fire station.

When asked if they would “support or oppose a decision by township trustees to build a fire substation in the township east of Hoover Reservoir,” 54 percent of those surveyed said they would support it; 27 percent opposed it and 19 percent were not sure.

Saperstein Associates Inc. interviewed 302 registered voters in the township by telephone. The survey cost $14,500.

“Support for a fire substation suggests that many residents trust their township trustees and consider them a credible authority on this issue,” Marty Saperstein said.

“A majority of residents would support a decision by township trustees to build a fire substation east of the reservoir,” said Saperstein. “Support is especially strong when residents learn that a tax increase would not be needed.”