Millage for 911 Emergency Dispatch Services up for renewal

LAKE COUNTY — Last month, the Lake County Board of Commissioners approved placing a renewal millage on the Nov. 7, 2017 ballot for 911 Emergency Dispatch Services.

County residents previously approved a millage of 1.75 mills in August of 2012 ($1.75 per $1,000 of taxable value) for a period of five years. Renewal of the 911 millage would allow for continued operations of the central dispatch center for an additional five years.

“People may not realize that all emergency services in the county, including police, fire and ambulance, are dispatched locally from our county dispatch center in Baldwin,” explained James Anderlohr, Lake County 911 director. “This millage is the primary funding source covering upwards of 90 percent of our budget.”

Many counties charge a surcharge tax on all land and cell phone lines to fund operations. However, given the relatively small population and the high number of visitors, the property tax millage allows the county to spread the costs of providing the services more equitably.

“In recent years, the Lake County Central Dispatch has been able to comply with the FFC’s mandated narrow-banding of the VHF radio system, and provided Text-2-911 for the residents and visitors of Lake County. A renewal millage will allow continued operations and enable us to continue pursuing further enhancementes to our 911 system,” said Anderlohr.

A renewal would cost an average property owner approximately $47 a year.

Voting on the millage renewal will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 7. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.