Wexford County Anticipates 911 Surcharge Proposal Results

In Wexford County, a measure on the ballot looks to upgrade 911 services.

With 7 of 20 precincts reporting, the measure looks like it will pass.

It would increase the amount people pay for 911 by around $1.50 per phone.

The surcharge narrowly failed back in August.

9&10’s Veronica Meadows is in Cadillac with reaction to the measure.

The surcharge to pay for 911 is one of the big issues on the ballot here. 

Right now six precincts are reporting.

It’s a close race, but so far, it’s passing.

“It will go towards the upkeep and maintenance of the system,” says Wexford County Firefighters.

The polls have closed and voters are anxiously waiting to see if the second time is the charm for the 911 surcharge.

If passed, the surcharge will go from 42 cents to $2.25 per phone per month, all to help pay for Wexford County’s 911 service.

“It’s for a good cause,” says voter, Amanda Siggins. “If it’s going to help the community save on paying for 911 when they can use the money somewhere else if it’s needed. I voted for it because I’ve paid more for worse things.”

Right now the county collects about $300,000 a year for 911 but they say it costs them at least $900,000 a year to run.

The difference has come out of their general fund.

It’s something they say they can’t keep paying for and are looking at outsourcing to save money.

Still, not everyone was willing to pay more for 911.

“I couldn’t see the cost being justified,” says Voter, Steve Scerbak. “And I think the service we will have will not diminish I really don’t. If I thought the response time was going to be lengthened out for even a couple seconds I would be against it.”

And while the results are still trickling in, local firefighters hope to see the surcharge pass and that 911 will stay local.

“Just keep it local so people who work at the dispatch center they know where stuff is. They’re personally invested and they know where stuff is.”

While the voters will decide whether the surcharge passes, it’s up to county commissioners to decide if they will outsource 911.