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Friday, July 1, 2016

County 911 subscriber fee to increase 45

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

GREENCASTLE -- Putnam County Council approved an ordinance amending the subscriber fee for 911 in the county -- something that hasn't been done since its inception in 1990. The fee was raised from $2.30 to $2.75, which is the maximum increase allowed by law.

"It is still not the highest (subscriber fee) in the state," noted EOC Director Dave Costin.

The subscriber fee can be found on a landline and cell phone bills and supports the entire operation of the 911 system, from salaries to training to equipment. However, landlines are becoming obsolete in today's wireless society.

In October, AT&T Inc. reported a national loss of 1.54 million landlines in its third quarter -- 500 per day in Indiana. Its net income dipped as revenue from traditional landlines fell faster than the company could cut costs, the Associated Press reported.

But without the increase on landlines in Putnam County, Emergency Operation Center director Dave Costin fears the EOC will be in the red again next year.

The department has suffered a more than $100,000 deficit for 2009. During the regular meeting Tuesday, council members approved an additional of $130,000 to the department to cover its remaining cost for the year. The monies will be transferred from the rainy day fund.

Council member Larry Parker stated he was totally against raising taxes, but understood (the increase in the subscriber fee) was a matter of public safety.

Costin was also given approval from the council to fill a part-time position. The money for the position is already in the budget, Costin assured. This would give EOC six part-time employees.

In addition, several people with the highway department went before the council to discuss hiring a full-time employee at the first of the year. He would replace an employee who is retiring, but not until July 2010.

The crewmember has already been working with the department for the last year through Manpower Inc. However, his contract is up Dec. 31 and the highway department wants desperately to put him on its payroll.

They were given approval based on approval from county commissioners at its meeting Dec. 21. The potential new employee thanked each council member with a handshake and smile following the vote.

In other business:

* Council gave approval to the Putnam County Health Department on a $625.26 appropriation for supplies in the coroner's office.

* The Putnam County Sheriff's Department was approved to purchase replacement software for the jail. PCSD was also given approval to transfer $33,000 from its fuel account to cover insurance costs next year.

Ashley O'Hair, chief matron at PCSD, explained the funds for insurance always begins with a nearly $45,000 deficit. With the transfer, the fund will begin with about an $8,000 deficit in 2010.

* Putnam County treasurer-elect Sharon Owens was given approval to transfer $804 for comp and vacation time in 2009.

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Just a question. Why do they call this a subscriber fee? Sounds like it would be an option. Don't get me wrong. I am totally for 911 service and I don't think it's to much to pay. It's a great necessity. I just wonder why this particular misleading discription.?????

-- Posted by barb4him2 on Wed, Dec 16, 2009, at 11:57 AM

My question is why should my bills be increased when the 911 system and dispatch in this county are horrible. Why does it take 45 minutes for an ambulance to get to someones house. We're not talking about way out in the country...we talking out toward the airport..seriously..if my bill increases than the least that the county could do is give their drivers quizs on addresses or better yet what about a GPS system.

-- Posted by girlmd on Wed, Dec 16, 2009, at 4:53 PM

Why does Putnam County pay so much more for 911 service? Surrounding counties have never paid what Putnam County pays. I knew when they updated their system and new offices etc, this would happen. I remember them saying a couple years ago that it would not increase, but sure enough it did. Thanks a lot to out trusting officials!

-- Posted by bakermom on Wed, Dec 16, 2009, at 8:43 PM

People are you so petty? 45 cents? Remember that next time you need emergency assistance. 45 cents for a life........hmmm should I spend that... or do I add another 55 cents and get a coke?

-- Posted by sad_but_true on Wed, Dec 16, 2009, at 11:55 PM

sad but true...

I would love to pay the extra 45 cents..I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is it taking them forever to get anywhere. Where I grew up the EMT's or whomever was driving the ambulance had to memorize maps of the area they were responsible for, that was part of the job. And before you even ask I grew up in an area 3 times the size of Greencastle and Putnam County. I just want them to do their job.

-- Posted by girlmd on Thu, Dec 17, 2009, at 8:31 AM

We are missing the big picture. We have to pay 911 anytime we use their services. And we are charged on our phone bills. I have a work cell, personal cell and home phone. I am being charged three times, and then I get a bill after calling 911 for an emergency. Where does all of the money go?

-- Posted by longtimecitizen on Mon, Dec 21, 2009, at 2:31 PM

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