9-1-1 Funding & Legislative Issue
In November of 2016, the voters of Kent County approved an additional $.70 per month for thel local 9-1-11 surcharge, raising the monthly 9-1-1 surcharge to $1.15 per month per device that can access 9-1-1. The new monthly rate will be approved by the State of Michigan in June of this year and will begin appearing on consumer bills in July or August of this year.
Funding the Authority through a surcharge enables the Authority to implement technical initiatives that will enhance the delivery of 9-1-1 services to citizens as well as to the responding police, fire, and EMS agencies without requiring more funds from local units of government. Through the addition of new revenue from the surcharge increase the Kent County Dispatch Authority has earmarked two projects for the new funds:
- Purchasing and installing a new 700/800 MHz twelve site, simulcast radio system for use by all police and fire agencies in Kent County plus other public safety entities. Our new system will be part of the existing Michigan Public Safety Communications System (MPSCS) that covers the entire State of Michigan. The system will provide over 3,700 radios to police and fire first responders in Kent County and will allow each agency to talk directly to one another both in daily activities and during natural and manmade disasters. The system, purchased from Motorola, costs over $24,500,000 and is expected to go on line by the 4Q of 2018.
- Providing additional annual funding to the two 9-1-1 centers in Kent County; the Grand Rapids Center and the Kent County Sheriff Center that is to be used for enhanced fire dispatching in each center. It is expected that each center will receive an additional $800,000 per year from this new revenue.