2018-02-01 / Views

Daily vs. one-time costs

In our Jan. 18 section, staff writer Eric Carlson explained that the county will need to spend $385,000 in 2018 on its emergency dispatch system upgrade. The cost was only budgeted for $100,000.

Commissioners nearly immediately decided to tap into the county Delinquent Tax Revolving Fund, which replenishes annually with fees and interest collected on unpaid property taxes.

Last year commissioners authorized a 42-cent monthly surcharge on all phones whose bills are sent to Leelanau County addresses.

Some have called for a property tax to pay for the 9-1-1 upgrade, which will provide reliable, digital service in communications between dispatchers at the County Law Enforcement Center and emergency responders.

We like the project. But how should we pay for it?

So we’ll ask our worn-out question again. Is Leelanau County any closer to signing a contract with Grand Traverse County to handle the relatively few emergency calls that come in during the midnight shift?

It’s a question we’ve asked for 15 years. The cost for the upgrade is paid once, while payroll savings continue year after year.

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