Kosciusko County’s E911 service is not adequately funded under current state legislation, according to the Kosciusko County Council. After reviewing the Legislation that took effect July 1 of this year, both the county council and the county commissioners have found the legislation to be flawed.
On July 1, the state took over funding to stabilize revenues, to create a single 911 county fund, and have one single statewide fee for land line, VOIP and wireless devices. Originally, funds for Kosciusko County provided on average $640,000 a year. Under the new Hold Harmless Funding, the amount is set at $614,340.76. The basis for the amount is the amount collected from pre-existing telephone fees – $1 per landline – but does not factor the overall cost of operating the service.
The budget required to sustain Kosciusko County E911 services for 2013 will be $1,026,262.00, well over the amount provided. The county currently draws approximately $400,000 from property taxes to compensate for the difference.
In a proposed letter the council wants to send to state representatives they explain, “We feel strongly that the 911 state revenue distribution needs to be reviewed to fairly distribute the funds and adequately provide for expenses based upon the actual costs of the service.” The council voted unanimously to approve the letter.
The council also approved an $88,000 budget request by K-C.O.D.E, the Kosciusko Coalition on Drug Education. The budget provides grant money to organizations such as local police departments and D.A.R.E. programs. K-C.O.D.E. also highlights the dangers of methamphetamine, a vindictive drug that leads headlines in the county.
Other items approved were funds transfers for the sheriff’s department. Those included a transfer of $2,243.48 from an insurance payment to repair a vehicle involved in a deer strike accident, $1,400 from payroll of lieutenant to sheriff’s lieutenant due to a demotion, and a transfer of $6,500 from jail overtime to fund jail part-time help.
Council members also met with Brad Newcomer, a Kosciusko County appointee to the Nappanee Public Library, and Dana Krull, appointee for the North Webster Public Library. Kosciusko provides an appointment to the Nappanee Public Library as part of the city limits are located within Kosciusko County. Both appointments were approved to their respective libraries.
The next regular meeting for the Kosciusko County Council is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13.