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Alpena Co 911 surcharge likely to go up July 1

Submitted by Phil Heimerl on April 20, 2017 – 12:56 amNo Comment

The 911 Director for Alpena County says ongoing communication issues with police, fire and other emergency personnel in the field is getting worse in some cases, and the current proposal to fix the issues is roughly $2 million.

Mark Gurisko told the county’s finance committee Wednesday, the biggest issue is the age and technology of radios.

He said some state of the art technology upgrades inside the 911 center would also make it much easier for dispatchers.

Gurisko said a quote from the county’s current radio provider, Motorola, came in “…way over what we want to spend.”  He is now searching for a lower cost alternative.

In the meantime, Gurisko received permission from the finance committee to increase the 911 surcharge attached to all telephones and cellphones.  If the full board of commissioners approves the increase near the end of the month, the surcharge will go up to $2.75 per device on July 1, an increase of 29 cents.  Alpena voters recently approved a 911 surcharge of up to $3 per device, but Gurisko doesn’t want to go that high at this time.

The new surcharge amount will raise approximately an additional $83,000 per year.

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