06/27/05 — County seeks one dollar increase for E911

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County seeks one dollar increase for E911

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on June 27, 2005 1:45 PM

Wayne County officials are seeking a $1-per-month increase in the E911 charge on most home telephones later this year.

County commissioners could vote as soon as Tuesday to approve the increase -- from 85 cents per line to $1.85 per line -- but it wouldn't show up on phone bills until November.

It would be the first increase in the E911 charge since February 2003, when the charge rose from 50 cents to 85 cents. That change was approved by the county commissioners the previous September.

The county needs the increase to help pay for its new communication system, said Emergency Services Director Joe Gurley.

The city is currently reviewing the county's plans for a 300-foot tower at the corner of Humphrey and Eighth streets, near the old Wayne Community College campus. If approved, it will be the main transmitter in a new countywide system, replacing a transmitter that's atop Waynesborough House in downtown Goldsboro.

Radio signals will also be simulcast from transmitters to be erected in northern and southern Wayne County.

Deputies and others in the field will need to upgrade to radios that meet the "P25" standard, a national protocol that's mandatory for Homeland Security projects.

The E911 charge does not apply to cell phones. The state of North Carolina collects a separate fee on cell phones, but the proceeds are not distributed to counties based on the owners' residences.

Ninety-seven of North Carolina's 100 counties charge E911 fees, according to the N.C. chapter of the National Emergency Number Association. The highest fee is $2 per month in Swain County while the cheapest is 25 cents per month in Wake County and parts of Buncombe and Craven counties.

Alamance, Hertford and Tyrrell counties do not have E911 fees.