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The dispatch fees implemented earlier this year by Randolph County 911 are beginning to take a toll on the budgets of first responders in the county. 911 has started charging fees to dispatch law enforcement, both county and cities; the two ambulance services (both of which are private entities); volunteer fire departments; rescue squad and even private wrecker services. The charging of fees was again brought to the attention of the county commission at a recent workshop.
The county fire association asked the commission to cover the dispatch fees of volunteer organizations since they provide work such as clearing trees, blocking roads and routing traffic in weather related issues.
911 is charging the fire association $12,000 or $56 per call.
Treasurer of the fire association, JJ Wendling told the commission it was not a requirement to provide services, but they save the county a considerable amount of money. The fees are collected from first responders and law enforcement to help cover the budget. Examples of the fees paid are:
Fire departments and rescue squad: $12,000 per year with an increase each year.
County law enforcement: $76, 900 per year
An audit of 911 that began in 2020 and extended into 2022 showed an ending fund balance of $377, 800. 90 with a CD at Southern States Bank in the amount of $158,000. Total expenses for fiscal year 2022 were $1,709,826.23, with revenues of $1,611,766.14. There were other revenues that came to the 911 office to balance the budget.