One of the agenda items for the combined Starke County Council and Commissioners meeting tonight will be a method for paying for 9-1-1 dispatch services. The money is collected by the state, and will be distributed to the individual counties.
According to Auditor Kay Chaffins, last week the funding to maintain 9-1-1 services has been going down each year. In 2010, the county received $408,354. In 2011, the amount was $362,849.
Governor Daniels ordered March 21st that a state-wide change in the way 9-1-1 is funded will begin July 1st. On that date, landline and cell phone users will pay the same amount toward the funding. In the past, the money was derived from a formula where landline customers paid a higher fee.
But with more and more people switching to exclusive cell phone service, the county is receiving less money to pay for 9-1-1 expenses.
More information will be given tonight as both County Commission President Kathy Norem and Council President David Pearman both attended a meeting with Chaffins explaining the new funding formula to pay for the services.