Friday, August 19, 2016

911 Authority eyes 171 percent rate hike

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 12:02 PM

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When you get your phone bill, do you notice the 70 cent charge for 911 service? Probably not.

But you might notice if the charge is $1.90 a month. That's what the El Paso County-Teller County 911 Authority board wants to levy under a proposal soon to be submitted to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

Read all about that in our report here, in which we break the story about the pending rate increase.

Here are five things you probably don't know about the local 911 Authority:

• Its 70-cent fee raises $6.3 million a year. If the rate hike is approved, that amount will exceed $17 million a year.
• It overspent revenue in 2015, due to transferring nearly $3 million to local agencies to supplement their call-center expenses.
• The state law governing 911 charges limits spending to ""equipment costs, the installation costs, and the directly-related costs of the continued operation of an emergency telephone service..." The board has interpreted this as allowing salaries of call takers to be funded with 911 revenue. Doing that frees up money for agencies to spend however they like.
• The board members of the 911 authority are: Michael Dalton, Pat Rigdon, Vince Niski, Dave Rose, Robert McDonald, John Gomes, Robert Weller, Chris Truty, Ron Reeves.
• The current rate is comparable to many counties in the state. See a rundown of all counties' charges by going to this link.

Read the El Paso-Teller 911 Authority's 2015 annual report here:

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